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Full text of "Journals of the Rev. Messrs. Isenberg and Krapf, missionaries of the Church missionary society, detailing their proceedings in the kingdom of Shoa, and journeys in other parts of Abyssinia, in the years 1839, 1840, 1841, and 1842"

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JOURNALS '•-^' l>y 







IN THE YEARS 18-39, 1840, 1841, AND 1842. 











The operations of the Church Missionary Society iu 
Abyssinia commenced in the year 1829. The Rev. 
Samuel Gobat and the Rev. Christian Kugler, the first 
Protestant Missionaries who entered that country, landed 
at Massowah in Dec. 1829. They were favourably re- 
ceived by Sebagadis, the then Ras of Tigre. Mr. Ku- 
gler was removed by death just one year after his land- 
ing at Massowah : he died in the expression of lively 
faith in the Redeemer, and of a. good hope through grace, 
on Dec. 29, 1830. Mr. Kugler^s place iu the Mission 
was supplied by the Rev. Charles William Isenbei'g, 
who reached Adowah, in Tigre, in April, 1835. He 
was followed by the Rev. Charles Henry Blumhardt in 
the beginning of 1837, and by the Rev. John Ludwig 
Krapf at the close of that year. 

In the beginning of 1830 Mr. Gobat proceeded to 
Gondar, the capital of Amhara, where he was kindly 
received and protected by Oubea, then exercising chief 



authority in that part of Abyssinia.* In 1836 Mr. Go- 
bat was compelled by ill health to quit the Mission. 

Early in 1838 ojiposition to the Mission was excited 
by the priesthood of the Abyssinian Chiu'ch^ fomented 
by certain members of the Church of Rome who had 
entered the country. The result was, that the Mission- 
aries were obliged to quit Abyssinia, Oubea declaring 
that he was not able to resist their enemies any 

On quitting Abyssinia, Messrs. Isenberg and Blum- 
hardt proceeded to Cairo. jNIr. Krapf being unwilling 
to relinquish the hope of re-entering Abyssinia from 
another quarter, determined to make the attempt to do 
so by Zeila, which lies without the Straits of Babel- 
raandeb, in lat. 11° 20' north, long. 43° 50' east. He 
was led to contemplate this attempt in consequence of 
the Missionaries, while at Adowah, ha\dng been imdted 
by the King of Shoa to visit his country. ]\Ir. Krapf 
accordingly proceeded to Mocha, where he arrived on 
the 28th of May, 1838. Here he met ■mih. a servant 
of the King of Shoa, who encouraged him to prosecute 
the design which he had formed, and gave him much 
iufonuation as to the best method of proceeding from 
Zeila to the capital of the King of Shoa. From Mr. 
Naylor, the British Consul at Mocha, Mr. Krapf met 
with a friendly reception, and the promise of every 

* The result of Mr. Gobat's residence in Abyssinia was published in 
1834, in a volume entitled ".Journal of a Three Years' Residence in Abys- 
sinia, in furtherance of the objects of the Church Missionary Society." 


assistance in liis power. While he was employed in 
collecting information at Mocha, he was attacked by 
dysentery; which reduced him so low, that he was 
compelled to retm-n to Cau'o, where he arrived on the 
27th of September, 1838. 

Mr. Isenberg and Mr. Krapf now seriously delibe- 
rated on their futiu*e course ; and came to the conclu- 
sion jointly to engage in an attempt to reach Shoa by 
way of Zeila and Hurrm*. Should they fail in their 
object with regard to Shoa, it was their purpose to 
make their way, if possible, to the tribes of Heathen 
Gallas, which are spread over the country to the south- 
ward and eastward of Shoa. 

Colonel Campbell, then British Consul-General at 
Cairo, prociu-ed for the Missionaries a firman from the 
Pacha of Egypt. He also gave them letters to the 
Consul at Mocha, and to the King of Shoa, strongly 
recommending the Missionaries to then* protection and 
favour. Mr. Gliddon, the United States' Consul-Gene- 
ral at Cairo, gave them a letter, recommending them to 
the friendly offices of all captains of United States' 
vessels with whom they might meet. 

Thus aided and encom-aged, they started on their 
arduous undertaking. jNIr. Krapf thus concluded a 
letter from Caii-o to the Secretaries of the Chui'ch Mis- 
sionaiy Society, Jan. 20, 1839 : " May the Lord of Sa- 
baoth be our guide, our preserver, our strength, our 
light, and our life 1" 

From Mocha they crossed to the opposite coast, 


passed the straits of Babelmandeb, and on the 4th of 
April arrived at Tadjurra, which they found preferable 
to Zeila as a point of departure to the interior. After 
encountering the many difficulties which embarrass 
travellers in these unfrequented regions, they reached 
the frontier of the kingdom of Shoa on the 31st of 
jNIay, the journey having occupied thii-ty-five days. 
They had an interview with the King on the 7th of 
June, who gave them a favourable reception. 

The Missionaries remained together in the kingdom 
of Shoa until November 6, 1839 ; when Mr. Isenberg 
departed, to return for a season to this country. During 
these five months they were diligently occupied in con- 
versational preaching and discussion, and in obtaining 
a great variety of information. Mr. Isenberg had made 
considerable progress in translations into the Amharic 
Language, both while in Tigre, and after his arrival in 
Shoa. A leading object of his \isit to England was to 
print the works which he had prepared, for the future 
use of the Mission wherever the Amharic Language is 
vernacular. He arrived in London on the 30th of April, 
1840. Here he completed works already commenced, 
and prepared several others. He eventually carried 
through the Press : — 

An Amharic Spelling Book. 8vo. 

Grammar. Royal Bvo. 

Dictionary. 4to. 

Catechism. Bvo. 

Chui'ch History. 8vo. 


Amharic General History. 8vo. 

Mr. Isenberg had prepared a Vocabulary of the 
Daiikali Language, which was likewise printed. 

Tlie object of the Mission was not only the Chris- 
tian population of Shoa, but the Galla Tribes exten- 
sively spread over the south-eastern parts of Africa. 
To the Galla language therefore, hitherto unwritten, 
Mr. Krapf s attention was much given. During Mr. 
Isenberg's stay in London the following Galla works, 
prepared by Mr. Krapf, were printed : — 

Vocabulary. 12mo. 

Elements of the Galla Language. 12mo. 

St. Matthew's Gospel. 12mo. 

St. John's Gospel. 12mo. 

The Committee have since received from INIr. Krapf 
a translation into Galla of the Book of Genesis, and of 
the Epistle to the Romans. 

While Mr. Isenberg was absent in England, Mr. 
Krapf, though alone, and painfully feeling the diffi- 
culties and disadvantages of his solitariness, occupied 
himself diligently and zealously in his arduous duties. 
Amidst much to try and discourage him, he was gra- 
ciously sustained in his work, and not left without 
tokens of the Divine blessing upon it. The nature of 
that work, and the difficulties and trials incident to the 
prosecution of it, are fully detailed in the Joui-nals of 
the Missionaries contained in this Volume. 

Dm-ing the period that Messrs. Isenberg and Krapf 
were together in the Mission, their communications were 


sometimes addressed to the Committee jointly, and 
sometimes independently. In placing those commu- 
nications before the reader, the chronological order 
has been followed. Hence sometimes one speaks, and 
sometimes the other. The tenour of the remarks 
will, however, generally indicate the individual who 
makes them. From the period when Mr. Isenberg 
quitted Shoa, in the beginning of November 1839,* it 
is of course Mr. Krapf alone that speaks. 

Mr. Krapf's private affairs having called himto Egypt, 
he left Ankobar on the 10th of March, 1842. He de- 
termined to go by Goudar and Massowah. One object 
was personal communication with the new Abuna, the 
ecclesiastical head of the Abyssinian Church. In this ob- 
ject he was disappointed. Just before he reached Daunt, 
in the province of Belissen, his progress was stopped in 
consequence of the country having been thrown into a 
state of confusion by hostilities between two of the Chiefs 
of that part of Abyssinia. Hence he was obliged to 
retrace his steps to Gatira, the capital of a Chief named 
Adara Bille. This man on Mr. Krapf's advance had 
treated him with kindness, and gained his confidence. 
He now, however, determined to plunder him. By a 
series of artful proceedings he effected his purpose, 
and stripped Mr. Krapf of the whole of his property. 
His life itself was seriously endangered. A gracious 
Providence rescued him from the perils of his situa- 
tion. Having obtained leave to depart from Gatu'a, he 

*p. IGO. 


determined to attempt reaching Massowah by a route 
directed to the north-east. Throughout this journey 
he encountered great hardships^ privations, and dan- 
gers; but under the defence of the Most High, in 
whom he trusted, he was brought to Massowah in 
safetj^, on the 1st of May, 1842. This journey led 
Mr. Krapf through parts of Abyssinia not previously 
traversed by Europeans. This portion of his Journal 
is therefore of much interest for the geographical infor- 
mation which it contains, as well as for the insight 
which it gives into the state of the people. 

In Egypt Mr. Krapf met his fellow labourer Mr. 
Isenberg returning to Abyssinia. Mr. Blumhardt, 
their former associate in Tigre, had been transferred by 
the Committee to the North India Mission. He had 
been replaced in the Abyssinian Mission by the Rev. 
John Miihleisen, who reached Cairo in company with 
]\Ir. Isenberg. The three Missionaries and Mrs. 
Krapf, to whom Mr. Krapf had been united in Egypt, 
left Cairo on the 17th Oct. They reached Aden on 
the 2nd of Nov. On the 18th of Dec. they sailed 
for Tadjun'a, and reached that place on the 20th. Here 
they found a series of obstacles opposed to their re- 
entrance into Abyssinia. Having in vain employed 
every means in their power to surmount those obstacles, 
they were compelled to relinquish the attempt and 
return to Aden. Of the precise nature of the causes 
which operated to close the door against the return of 
the Missionaries to Shoa we are not at present fully in- 


formed. From what has transpired, however, it is pro- 
bable that they are of the same description as those 
which led to the expulsion of the Missionaries from 
Tigre — the jealousy of the Priesthood and politico- 
popish intrigue. 

Reference will be seen in the Journals to a French 
traveller, M. Rochet. He arrived in Shoa in Oct. 1839. 
After some stay there he returned to France, and in 
1841 published at Paris a volume entitled, " Voyage 
dans la cote orientale de la ]\Ier Rouge, dans la pays 
d'Adel, et la Royaume de Choa.'^ (Shoa.) In the 
course of his work he gives an account of the eccle- 
siastical affairs of Abyssinia. He closes this account 
Avith the following remarks, which instructively warn 
Protestants — if warning were needed — of the policy 
and plans of Rome. 

" The critical state of Christianity in the kingdom of 
Shoa should call for the efforts of a Catholic Mission to 
that country. I should desire that Missionaries of this 
communion might succeed in rallying the Amharras 
round it; but I think there is not a more delicate task — 
that there is not a work which demands more prudence: 
an ardent inconsiderate zeal would endanger all. Our 
Missionaries should not forget that the heat of the 
Portuguese Jesuits lost all the advantages which Catho- 
licism had previously obtained, and ended by causing 
them to be driven out of Abyssinia in the sixteenth 
century. The Abyssinians still remember the violent 
dissensions which the vehemence of the Jesuits had 


created among them. The last traces of this remem- 
brance — grievous precedent for Catholicism — must be 
effaced by means of forbearance and tolerance. Our 
Missionaries ought even to be cautious of avowing then* 
intention. It will, I doubt not, be for the interest of 
their cause — and an able and auspicious pohcy— only 
to present themselves at first as chemists or mechanics, 
after the example of the Jesuits who conducted, in 
the seventeenth century, the glorious China Missions. 
I beheve it unnecessary to add, that a cold, reserved course 
should only be observed until their credit with the king 
and their influence over the country should be solidly 
established by their successful labours. Their efforts 
should at first be directed toward the king, for on his 
conversion alone would depend that of the Amharras. 
Attempts on the Gallas might be tried, by representing 
to the prince of what political advantage it would be 
for him to unite all the members of his states in the 
same unity of faith. It would be necessary to avoid 
showing any jealousy or animosity toward the jNIethodist 
Mission, whose vnse conduct ought on the contrary to 
be followed as a model. In every circumstance it would 
be necessary always to keep in view that the slightest 
imprudence, the least rashness, would suffice to destroy 
for ever in Abyssinia the entrance of Catholicism, per- 
haps of Christianity and of Civilization.'^* 

It is scarcely necessary to say that the " Methodist 
Mission" to which M. Rochet refers, is that of ]Messrs. 

* Rochet, pp. WJ, 190. 
a 5 


Isenberg and Kvapf. The Readers of their Journals 
will, however, not fail to remark that they pursued a 
course widely different from that advocated by M. Ro- 
chet for Rome. They uniformly avowed their cha- 
racter as Protestant Missionaries; whose only object 
was, the Lord blessing their labours, to diffuse Scrip- 
tural light in a region of spiritual darkness. 

Whether a re-entrance into Abyssinia may be prac- 
ticable to the Missionaries at a future period, it would 
be vain to speculate. That a measure of scriptural 
light has been diffused by their instrumentality cannot 
be doubted. Many copies of the New Testament in 
Amharic, supplied by the liberality of the British and 
Foreign Bible Society, have been widely dispersed. 
They were received with avidity wherever the Mission- 
aries had an opportunity of circulating them, and in 
Mr. Krapf's journeyings copies were found in remote 
places, far distant from any spot previously visited by a 
Missionary. We may therefore warrantably hope that 
a portion at least of the good seed will take root, and 
bring forth fruit to perfection. 

As it appears that rivers of considerable magnitude 
fall into the Indian Ocean from those parts of Eastern 
Africa inhabited by the Heathen Galla Tribes, Mr. Krapf 
had it in contemplation to make an attempt to re-esta- 
blish the ]\lission in that direction, so soon as circum- 
stances would permit. 

During the period of Mr. Krapf s residence at An- 
kobar, a communication was opened between the King 


of Shoa and the British Authorities in India. An 
Embassy, under the direction of Captain Harris, was 
sent to Shoa by the Governor-General of India. Cap- 
tain Harris reached his destination in July 1841. A 
Treaty was concluded between Captain Harris and the 
King of Shoa on Nov. 13, 1841, establishing a com- 
mercial intercoui'se between the two countries, and gua- 
ranteeing the safety of British subjects in Shoa, and 
the security of their property. At the solicitation of 
Captain Harris, Mr. Krapf acted as his Interpreter in 
negotiating the Treaty; and in a despatch to the Bombay 
Government, Captain Harris thus recorded his sense of 
the value of Mr. Krapf s semces : — 

" Mr. Krapf has submitted with the utmost good- 
will to continual interruption in his more immediate 
quiet avocations, and has never required even the inti- 
mation of a wish to render himself of the greatest 
utility to the Embassy ; not only in the more delicate 
forms of interpretation, which he so well understands, 
but also in those minor points of annoyance which are 
certain in the first instance to arise in a strange country. 
From the first day of our arrival he has, in utter con- 
tempt of all weather, been engaged whenever the inte- 
rests of the service required his presence ; and without 
his most able assistance, and perfect knowledge of Abys- 
sinian life, our situation would have become perplexing, 
and our prospect of success removed to a far distant 


Throughout Captain Harris's stay in the country, he 
showed Mr, Krapf much kindness, and rendered to 
him and the Mission many services. The Embassy 
having been recalled, Captain Harris has just arrived 
in England. We understand he is about immediately 
to lay before the public the information collected oy 
him during eighteen months residence in Shoa. The 
character which Captain Harris has already established 
as a Traveller, in South Africa, warrants the anticipa- 
tion that his work on Abyssinia will prove both 
interesting and important. 

Reference has already been made to the geographi- 
cal information comprised in the Journals now laid 
before the public. Of a portion of this information 
Mr. M'Queen availed himself, with the permission 
of the Committee, in his '* Geographical Survey of 
Africa," published in 1840. On being shewn the sub- 
sequent Journals of the Missionaries, he was so much 
struck with the extent and value of the geographical 
information contained in them, that he very kindly 
offered to draw a Map of Abyssinia, to accompany the 
publication of the Journals, exhibiting the information 
thus acquired. This offer the Committee gratefully 
accepted, and the Map, engraved by Arrowsmith, is 
pretixed to the Journals. 

"While Mr. M'Queen was thus employed, tidings 
reached this country of the result of certain Expeditions 
sent up the A\liite Nile by that remarkable man, 


Mahomed Ali, Pacha of Egypt. The information thus 
obtained having an important bearing on south-western 
Abyssinia, as well as on the country south of Nubia, 
almost to the Line, INIr. INPQueen had the goodness 
to draw another ]\Iap, exhibiting that information, 
which he presented to the Committee. This Map in- 
cludes the countries from 5" South to 18° North Lati- 
tude, and from 5° to 44° East Longitude. 

In constructing these IMaps Mr. M'Queen has availed 
himself, with great labour, of the information bearing 
on the geography of the countries to which they refer, 
which was accessible to him in the writings of authors 
ancient and modern. Among these, Bruce merits par- 
ticular notice, the statements contained in his Travels 
relative to the geography of Abyssinia, and the sur- 
rounding countries, having, in its general character, 
been very remarkably corroborated by later travellers. 

To the serA-ices just referred to, Mr. jM^Queen has 
added another — a Geographical Memoir, to illus- 
trate the Maps. On this- Memoir IMr. McQueen has 
bestowed much research, and it forms a valuable addi- 
tion to the services already rendered to Africa, by 
this able geographer. The Map of Africa is prefixed 
to the Geographical Memoir. 

To Captain Haines, the Commandant at Aden, the 
Committee owe the expression of their cordial thanks 
for his uniform kindness to the Society's Missionaries, 
and for the valuable assistance which he has at all times 


shown himself ready, promptly and cordially, to render 
them in the prosecution of their labours. 


August 21, 1843. 





ING ISLAMISM. ----... 





























ANKOBAR. - 43 
















CAPITAL OF SHOA -------82 

















CEREMONY -------- 160 



















































KRAPF. -----__- 319 























CONTENTS. xxvii 


























t •• • • " '* 




Within the last few years, the geographical features of 
Africa have begun to assume something like a natural and 
a rational shape. Every day brings us some important 
geographical information regarding interesting portions of 
that vast Continent. Some of this is entirely new, and 
other portions of it confirmatory of the accounts col- 
lected and transmitted to us by the ancients, but 
which modern wisdom would neither allow to be possible 
nor correct. The attention of the world is now, how- 
ever, so closely directed to that fine, but hitherto much 
neglected quarter of the Globe, that its interior and least 
known parts, have already been widely explored, and will, it 
is confidently predicted, in a few years more, be explored 
to their deepest recesses, and correctly delineated. 



Among those to whooi African Geography and the 
friends of Africa are at this moment deeply indebted, 
— Messrs. Isenberg and Krapf, the worthy Missionaries 
sent oat some years ago by the Church Missionary Society, 
to preach the Gospel in the Eastern and interior parts of 
Africa, — claim the first place. The travels and the labours 
of these excellent men, have been the first to bring before 
the British Public correct information regarding that in- 
teresting, and once celebrated portion of Africa, lying to 
the south of the Straits of Babelmandeb, to the south- 
east and south of Abyssinia, and the upper and early 
course of the Bahr-el-azreek, or the Blue Nile. The 
Journals of these men form the principal object and con- 
tents of the present publication, and are so interest- 
ing, from laying before us, as they do, the highlands 
which give birth to, and which separate the waters of 
some of the largest and most important Rivers in Africa, 
that the v,rriter of this considered it but justice to these 
individuals, and of importance to a right understanding 
of the subject, to arrange and delineate in a map their 
travels and all the other important information which 
he has lately collected and obtained regarding the Eastern 
and Central portions of Africa, more immediately con- 
nected with the journeys and information given by the 
Missionaries alluded to. 

With great labour, and with much care, this has accor- 
dingly been done. The present memoir narrates, in a form 
as condensed as possible, the general heads of the subject, 
together with the authorities from which the information 
has been drawn, and the reader will be able to trace the 
descriptions and journeys on the accompanying maps. 
From these he will perceive the importance of the infor- 


mation which has been obtained and collected, and the 
remarkable errors which have hitherto prevailed in the 
Geography of this portion of Africa, arising in many in- 
stances, not so much from the want of information, as from 
the carelessness with which that has been examined, and as 
if it were from a determination to resist the truth. 

The information which our Countryman Bruce collected 
and received, regarding the portion of Africa more espe- 
cially under consideration, was not only extensive, but ac- 
curate and important. If he had been fortunate enough 
to have had an Arrowsmith or a Wyld at his elbow, to de- 
lineate on a map the information which he had collected, 
the great features of all the most important portions of the 
Geography of Afi-ica to the North of the Equator, would 
have been placed before the eyes of Europe sixty years ago. 
His account of Abyssinia, and several places adjacent to 
it, is the best that has yet come in the writer's way. As 
we proceed, this fact will be clearly established. The 
general correctness of the features of this portion of Africa 
as drawn by Ptolemv, will also be shewn and ascertained. 
The travellers and authorities from which the writer has 
drawn information will be carefully and faithfully pointed 
out. But he would be acting unjustly if he did not take this 
opportunity of returning his cordial thanks to M. Jo- 
mard, of Paris, well known for his great attention to 
every part of African Geography, for the great kindness 
shewn by that gentleman in transmitting him, by the 
earliest possible opportunity, the official abstract of the 
voyage of discovery directed by the present Viceroy of 
Egypt, about three years ago, to explore the Bahr-el-abiad, 
or White River. This has been done in a remarkable 
manner, and is one of the most interesting and im- 


portant voyages of discovery Avhich has been made in 
modern times. 

One of the greatest difficulties encountered in unravelHng 
African Geography is the diversity of names that are given 
to the same Country, Town, Mountain, or River, according 
as these may have been obtained or collected by different 
travellers from different natives ; and these again differing 
according as they are obtained from Negro or Arab Tribes. 
The different mode of writing and pronouncing the same 
name even among Europeans is often extremely puzzling. 
This diversity of names for the same thing is so great and so 
frequent, that it requires no ordinary patience and stretch of 
memory to detect them and to hold the particular place 
steadily in view. 

Another great difficulty proceeds from the narrator's 
reversing the bearings of one place from another : putting 
West for East, and North for South, and so on. Thus 
he will say, Wara is north-east from Dar Ruma ; where- 
as it is Dar Ruma that is north-east from Wara. The 
narrator, who had been at both, placing himself while giv- 
ing information at Dar Ruma, instead of remembering that 
he was looking from Wara to Dar Ruma. This kind of 
mistake is very frequent among Negro and Arab travel- 
lers and narrators. Thus, where there is no check from 
an opposite direction or a point more beyond, it is some- 
times impossible to find out the truth. 

In like manner great errors are frequently committed 
with regard to the courses of rivers, the Arabs especially 
putting the geographical bearing of the bed of the river for 
the course of the current of the stream. Thus they say of 
the Nile it goes from Egypt to Abyssinia ; whereas the river 
comes, as Europeans express it, from Abyssinia to Egypt. 


Such mistakes with regard to hearings, as those ahove 
adverted to, are very frequently committed in European 
Authors. Thus in Bruce's works, his editor has made the 
bearings of places bounding each other the reverse of what 
they really are. For instance, Tigre is stated to be bound- 
ed on the north-east by Begemder ; whereas it is Begemder 
that is bounded on the north-east by Tigre. A similar error 
has been committed with most of the Abyssinian provinces, 
and these errors have been copied into almost every work 
that I have seen : Murray's Africa, the Encyclopcedia Bri- 
tannica, &c. which have copied from Bruce. These errors 
can, however, be detected with a little care; but not so those 
where south-east is put for south-west, as is sometimes the 
case. These require invincible patience and research to 
miravel. In Mr. Krapf's first journey, he states, that from 
Dobra Berhan to Tegulet he went east ; whereas it should 
have been west ; and instead of Lake Zawash emptying 
itself to the south as he then indicated, we now find that 
it empties itself into the Hawash, and in an opposite direc- 
tion. Pages might be filled in pointing out similar errors 
committed by travellers. 

In estimating the distance and positions of places from 
days' journey, the greatest care is necessary to ascertain 
whether such journeys are performed by single travellers, 
travelling expeditiously for only two or three days, and for 
pleasure ; or by a special messenger ; or by the steady reg- 
ular journey of the mercantile Caravan. The distance gone 
over by each, if exceeding two or three days, scarcely ever 
varies, especially of the latter ; and are only lessened or ex- 
tended according to the nature of the country, moun- 
tainous, rocky, woody, clear or level, that they may have 
to traverse. In a journey of two or three days there may 


be some little discrepancy as to the daily distance made 
good, especially if there is no time given to check it ; but 
when the journey comes to extend to several days, or for 
a considerable period of time, it is astonishing with what 
accuracy the positions of places can be ascertained and 
determined by this mode of measurement. I have found 
it not to vary more than 15 miles in 1000, and this when 
checked by journeys of an equal length to a given place, 
made from the opposite or from a different direction. 
Great care has been taken in regard to this matter in con- 
structing the accompanying maps ; and the results, after 
being again and again checked, have come out very con- 
vincing and very satisfactory. 

With these preliminary remarks we proceed to consider 
the Journals of the travellers alluded to, and the positions 
and general features of the countries and districts through 
which they went. 

The journey of Mr. Krapf and Mr. Isenberg to Ankobar 
comes first in order. They landed at Zeilah on the 1st. of 
April 1839. This is a decayed town, containing only eight 
stone houses and about one hundred straw huts, together 
occupied by about 800 inhabitants, mean and poor. Their 
food consists of maize, dates, milk, and rice, and occasion- 
ally flesh. The harbour is very bad, having many sand 
banks, and several small islands near it toward the north. 
The town is surrounded with walls, and has, on the land 
side, seven pieces of ordnance, pointed to the country of 
the Somaulis, with which people dwelling to the south-east 
and south, the town has a considerable intercourse ; but 
feuds and jealousies very frequently prevail between them. 
Zeilah has a good deal of intercourse with the adjoining and 
interior countries, especially with Hurrur, from which place 


a considerable quantity of fine coffee is brought yearly and 
shipped to Mocha, from which latter place it subsequently 
finds its way to the markets of Europe and America. 
Zeilah was formerly a place of considerable importance 
and the emporium for the Indian trade with those parts of 
Africa adjoining, especially when first known to, and occu- 
pied bv the Turks, at the commencement of the fifteenth 
century. In the days of Batouta, say 1332, it was, 
subsequently to the decay of Aussa, the chief town of 
the kingdom of Adel, and his description of its site 
was very accurate, and exactly as Mr. Stewart, sent by 
Mr. Salt to enter Africa from this point, found it to be, and 
from whose survey the accompanying map regarding it 
has been drawn up.* The Longitude and Latitude, 
especially the former, differs considerably in Stew- 
art's Survey, he placing it in Ho 18' North and 43° 3' 
East. I have adhered to the position given to it by 
Captain Harris, considering that as having been taken 
by a late survey made by the East India Company. 
When Batouta visited the place, say in 1333, it was in- 
habited by the Rafiza sect, and belonged to the Berbers, 
a people from the North of Africa and of the Shafia sect, 
and their country or the country of Zielah was then 
stated to reach in extent two months' journey by land to 
Makdashu. Zeilah is fourteen Caravan stages north-east 
from Hurrur, and about five orsix days' journey eastof Aussa. 
From Zeilah the travellers embarked for Tajoura, a 
small town, the capital of a state of that name, situated 
to the south-west of Ras Bir, at the entrance of a deep 
bay extending to the south-west. The existence of this 
bay, or rather the bays which run from Tajoura in the 
* Salt, p: 475. 


direction mentioned, and the true position of this small 
hut important town, were all unknown till they were dis- 
closed by the Missionaries mentioned. The town is still 
smaller and poorer than Zielah, containing only about 
300 inhabitants ; but it is the nearest point from which to 
penetrate into the most interesting portions of Abyssinia, 
and has good anchorage near it, a thing scarcely found 
on any portion of the East coast of Africa, especially 
without the Straits of Babelmandeb until the Equinoctial 
line is passed. The inhabitants of Berbera send to Ta- 
joura for water, which is found of excellent quality in 
wells and reservoirs in its vicinity. Tajoura, according 
to Captain Harris, stands in 11° 46' 35" North Latitude, 
and in 43° 00' 20" East Longitude, and is built upon 
a plain at the foot of the mountains, the soil being compo- 
sed of particles washed down from the hills during the 
rains. Like all that portion of Africa, it is subject to 
great heat and drought. To the north and north-west 
the interior is very mountainous, the hills and ridges 
rising to a very considerable elevation. The most impor- 
tant is Mount Debenit, about 35 miles north-west of 
Tajoura. This mountain is very elevated, and accor- 
ding to M. Rochet, who visited it, is volcanic and com- 
posed of primitive rock. There is an extinct crater on 
its summit. Foxes and Gazelles are numerous, both great 
and small ; and there is also found a tree from which is 
extracted a very deadly poison, which the inhabitants use 
on their arrows. The road from Tajoura to Mount De- 
benit is exceedingly rugged and steep, and covered with 
ancient volcanoes, quartz, basalt, &c. 

From Tajoura, Messrs. Krapf and Isenberg proceeded 
in about a south-W'Cst by west direction to Ankobar, the 


present capital of Shoa, a state now independent of the 
empire of Abyssinia. The journey was undertaken in the 
height of the dry season, and the route is distinctly marked 
on the map. An Embassy from the East India Company 
to the King of Shoa, under Captain Harris, and sent in con- 
sequence of the information which the Missionaries had 
given, travelled over nearly the same ground in 1841, 
and also a French traveller M. Rochet, a few months 
after Messrs. Isenberg and Krapf. The journeys of Har- 
ris and Rochet were accomplished in the wet season, and 
consequently the country wore a different aspect. Nu- 
merous and considerable rivers, which were dry when the 
Missionaries passed, traversed the country, and flowed to 
the Hawash or the Lakes. Among these is one named 
by M. Rochet the Killalou, which runs from south to 
north-east a distance of forty miles, and falls into the 
Natron Lake. In the rainy season it is sixty feet broad, 
and from five to six feet deep. At Goubade there is ano- 
ther, which runs from east-north-east to north-north-west. 
The current is rapid, and the breadth 100 metres (250 
feet) and depth forty centimetres. There are numerous 
hot springs in the neighbourhood of Omargalouf, about 
three leagues east of Lake Aussa, and also in the neigh- 
bourhood of Killalou. Lake Aussa is of considerable extent, 
it overflows during the rainy season, and when it recedes 
leaves a fine deposit, like that which is left by the Egyptian 
Nile. During the overflow, the superabundant waters run 
ofli^ into the Natron Lake, about nine miles distant north- 
east. Mr. Isenberg was told that the waters of Aussa 
were bitter; but M. Rochet says they are sweet. Aussa, 
some centuries ago, was the capital of the kingdom of 
Adel, and a place of great importance ; but it is now much 
b .5 


decayed. It lies due west from Karanta, and is situated 
according to Bruce, on a bank of the river Hawash.* 
It is the capital of the tribe of Dankali called Mudaites, 
the most powerful at this time in this portion of Africa. 
Several Ulemas and other learned Mahomedans yet re- 
side in the place. It contains from 1400 to 1600 houses, 
and from 5000 to 6000 inhabitants. The soil is very fer- 
tile, and supplies Dourah for the consumption of all the 
adjoining parts of Adel. It was at this place, then called 
Auxa, not at Zeilah, where the two Portuguese Missionaries, 
who formed part of the Mission of Jerome Lobo, and who 
attempted to penetrate into Abyssinia, by landing at Zeilah, 
were murdered. 

The Sultan of Tajoura, though of small power, is repre- 
sented to be a brave man, with a very large family. At 
some distance from this place, in the interior, Mr. Isenberg 
was told, that coals, resembling those imported into Aden, 
were found. AH the country from Tajoura to Ankobar is 
volcanic, everywhere exhibiting volcanic ridges, ancient 
volcanoes, and places covered with volcanic remains. This 
is especially the case to the westward and northward of 
r^Iulloo. Several of these plains are very fertile, and on 
the hills and ridges the air is cool and pleasant, the coun- 
try rising gradually from the sea. The lake of Assal, or 
the Salt Lake, is of considerable extent ; and the salt taken 
from it forms a considerable branch of commerce with the 
countries in the interior, to the south, to the west, and to 
the north. It is stated to be 570 feet below the level of 
the sea, and is a few miles distant from the second Bay of 
Tajoura, called " Ghoobut Ghrah," itself clearly of volcanic 
origin. Very high ranges of hills bound the horizon to 
* Vol. iii. p. 347. 


the south and south-east of the route laid down. The 
territory of the Chief of Tajoura begins at Murza Dooan, 
and extends south to the Salt Lake. Its extent westward 
is undefined, but it is probably not great. 

When Isenberg and Krapf crossed the Hawash on 
the 29th May, near the end of the dry season, they 
found the stream about sixty feet broad, and from two to 
four feet deep, with banks from fifteen to twenty feet 
high. When the Embassy of Captain Harris crossed it 
in the wet season, and at the same point, they found the 
stream from forty to fifty yards broad, and from ten to 
twelve feet deep, the banks covered with fine trees, and the 
scenery very beautiful. Their encampment near the river 
was 2223 feet above the level of the sea. M. Rochet, 
when he crossed the stream, found it from fifty to fifty-five 
metres broad, and twelve and a half to fourteen deep, its 
course from the point where the road crosses it, being 
north, and afterward north-east to Lake Aussa, which 
lake M. Rochet states is eighty metres, (200 feet) deep. 
The banks of the river are covered with fine verdure and 
fine trees. There are abundance of hippopotami in the 
stream ; and leopards, zebras, tigers, lions, and antelopes 
are numerous on its banks, which above Lake Aussa are 
inhabited by the powerful tribe Mudaite or Hassendera 
already mentioned. In fact, this great tribe stretch north- 
ward as far as the parallel of Tajoura. 

Numerous other tribes of Dankali spread over this por- 
tion of Africa till they come in contact with the Somauli 
to the south and south-east of Zeilah, and the Galla 
toward Hurrur, the kingdom of Shoa to the south-west 
and west, and again the Galla on the west, north-west, and 
north. The names of the principal of these are mentioned 


by Mr. Iseuberg, and deserve scarcely any other notice. 
Among the tribes mentioned by Captain Harris, we find 
the Raheita inhabiting the country close to the deep 
bays of Tajoura. This tribe, we learn from Bruce,* 
formed an important portion of the kingdom of Adel, 
and remained attached to it when stripped of nearly all the 
rest of its dominions. In the days of its splendour, this 
tribe extended itself to the neighbourhood of Assab, where 
we yet find the river of Raheita, from which they probably 
had their name. From the H awash to Ankobar the 
country is very beautiful, finely diversified, and watered by 
numerous streams, tributaries to the Hawash. This district 
forms part of the kingdom of Shoa, and is comprehended 
in, or rather forms the district or province of Lower 
Efat. Ankobar is finely situated on the eastern extremity 
of Mount Chakka, and is 8198 feet above the level of the 
sea, and in latitude nine degrees thirty-four minutes thir- 
ty-three seconds north, and longitude thirty-nine degrees 
thirty-five minutes east, according to the most recent ac- 
counts, and which position is a few miles difl'erent from 
the protraction of Mr. Isenberg's first journey. Mr. Isen- 
berg and his colleague v;ere enraptured with the climate of 
Ankobar. On the 4th of June they found the barley 
ready for the harvest, and the thermometer not more than 
40° during the night. "The rich vegetation, the situation 
in a cool, vernal, or almost autumnal atmosiihere," says 
Mr. Isenberg, " almost put us in an ecstasy." — " they 
breathed Alpine air, and drank Alpine water." AngoUalla 
is 200 feet higher than Ankobar, and the mountains to 
the south of that place about the sources of the Beresa and 
the Tshalsha rise to a still greater height. 
* Vol. iii. p: 347. 


Between Kudaite and the mountains of the Alia Galla 
there is a large plain or valley which, it is said, extends 
from the Hawash eastward to Berber a. A ridge of hills 
rising to a considerable height stretches along the east 
bank of the Hawash. In crossing the plain of little Mul- 
loo, the grass was found so high as to rise above the head 
of a man on horseback. To the south-west of this, at 
some distance, M. Rochet states that there is a volcano in a 
state of activity. About Alleule, in the territory of the tribe 
Dolone, there are fine palm trees, from which the natives 
extract a juice which they manufacture into a spirituous 
liquor which resembles champagne. Betwixt the moun- 
tains of Hassendera and the Mudaites, on the north, and 
the Alia Gallas on the south, there is a large plain, where 
coffee, citron, and sugar-canes are cultivated ; and where 
both zebras and elephants are found in considerable numbers. 
The Dannakil population of this portion of Africa are es- 
timated at 70,000 souls. Betwixt the Hawash and Fari 
are several lakes, one of them, the most westerly, of con- 
siderable magnitude, is called La Adu, or " the far distant 
water." Westward of Lake Aussa and the lower Hawash, 
the territory of a Chief named Imam Faris, extends from 
east to west four days' journey, till it touches upon the 
Woolla Galla. 

The Mudaites are the most warlike of all the Dannakil 
tribes. They are not very intelligent, but have good con- 
stitutions, and their women are good looking. The inhab- 
itants of Adel speak a language different from the Arabic, 
the yEthiopic, the Amharic, or the Galla. Perhaps the 
ancient Berber Language, stated to be an original language, 
or of great antiquity. They say that their ancestors came 


originally from Arabia and Asia. Of the Dannakils, Mr. 
Isenberg says : — 

" A chief occupation of the Dannakils, particularly the 
women, especially when they travel, is the plaiting of mats 
and baskets, for salt and corn, from the branches of the 
palm-tree. The women are the most industrious. Thev 
dress very slovenly, and frequently wear nothing but a 
piece of cloth, of a grey, blue, or variegated colours, tied 
round their hips, and reaching down to the knees, sometimes 
bound round with a fancifully-wrought leathern belt. Not- 
withstanding, they are vain, and fond of wearing bracelets 
and foot ornaments, ear and nose -rings, coral strings on 
their necks, &c." 

These journeys made from Tajourahave in the first place 
rectified the geography regarding the course of the Hawash; 
and before proceeding farther, it may be advisable to rec- 
tify the geography of this portion of Africa, in which such 
great and unnecessary errors have been committed and so 
long continued. This the journeys under consideration, 
and an attentive perusal of the information which Bruce 
received about them, enables us very clearly to do. The 
constructor of Bruce's map, and his own narrative in seve- 
ral places, has made perfect havoc among them. An atten- 
tive perusal of his portions of Abyssinian History, affords 
the safest and a tolerably clear guide to determine the 
positions of these countries and provinces with a sufficient 
degree of accuracy. The advance and retreat of the con- 
tending armies traces the provinces with great clearness ; 
and had the narratives regarding these been more closely at- 
tended to, or attended to at all, most of the errors which have 
crept into the geography of this portion of Afi-ica, would 
never have been committed, or else long ago cleared up. 


Commencing with the kingdom of Dankali will tend to 
make the delineation more satisfactory and clear. Dan- 
kali is that portion of the country which stretches from 
the Red Sea on to the north-east ridge of the chain of 
mountains that divides the waters which flow westward 
through Abyssinia, from those small streams which descend 
from the east side of these mountains to the Red Sea. On 
the east, and at Assab, it is bounded by part of the king- 
dom of Adel and the Myrrh country, and on the south by a 
desert part of the province of Do waro.* It is in general low, 
sandy, and dry. Two small rivers run in the country, 
descending from the highlands of Abyssinia to the Red 
Sea, but only conspicuous during the rains. t This country is 
inhabited by various Arab tribes, known under the general 
name of Dankali, their territory stretching north to the 
neighbourhood of Arkeeko. Some centuries ago it was a 
rich country ; but now it is become very poor. It has, 
besides the anchorage on the Bay of Assab, another port 
called Bilur or Biloul, at which place (see map) Jerome 
Lobo landed on his mission to Abyssinia. It was then 
governed by a king, whose capital or camp he found 
about ten miles distant on a small river at the foot of a 
mountain, consisting of six tents and twenty cabins plant- 
ed amongst thorns and wild trees. Goats and honey were 
the chief products of the country. After travelling for 
many days, but chiefly by night, through a country almost 
destitute of water, it being then (June) the dry season, 
and abounding with serpents, pursuing a northerly course, 
they came to the bed of a river then dry, but water was 
to be found in pools. During the rains, a very large river 
descends in this bed, and it is that which enters the sea, in 
* Bruce, vol. iii. p. 113. ^ Ibid. 


the Bay of Bure. After a march of some days along 
or by the bed of the river, they came to an opening in the 
mountain which is the only pass between the Dankali and 
Abyssinia, and through which they passed, when they im- 
mediately came to a fine country abounding with springs 
and streams, trees and verdure. They next crossed the 
salt plain, and after a journey of six or seven days they 
came to Fremona.* The salt plain is surrounded with 
very high mountains; it was crossed in one night's march. 
On the confines of Dankali and Abyssinia, there is a mix- 
ed race of Christians and Mahomedans called Taltal. f 
This is the name of a people and not of a place. The 
people of Dankali are sometimes called Ghibertis, which 
means people who are firm in the faith. Dankali is also 
sometimes called Samhar, which word is in fact used to 
designate all the sea coast both within and without the 
Straits of Babelmandeb. 

An got comes next in order. This was once an impor- 
tant and celebrated Province of Abyssinia when that coun- 
try was in the zenith of its power ; but it is now much 
circumscribed and reduced, having been overrun and de- 
solated by the Bestuma Galla under Guangoul. It is 
bounded east by the Taltal population, belonging to the 
state of Dankali, and the Dobas, a nation of Shepherds in- 
habiting the mountainous parts of the country to the 
south-west of Dankali, once Pagans, but afterward Ma- 
homedans. On the south and south-east, Angot is 
bounded by the Province of Dowaro ; on the west by 
Amharai and on the north-west by that part of Begemder 
called Lasta, and on the north-east by part of Tigre. 
This province formerly extended both to the north and 
* Lobo's Voyages, Purclias' Collection. f Bruce, vol. iii, p. 113, 


the south of the dividing range of mountains and to the 
south-west as far as Lake Haik. This was its boundary 
when Alvaraez visited it ; but now, according to Mr. Krapf, 
all the portion situated to the south-west of the dividing 
range is separated from it, and belongs to the province of 
Geshen or Yeshen ; Angot proper in its south-west ex- 
tremity commencing at the point of the high lands, north 
of the River Ala, and where the road separates to go 
north-west to Lalibala, and north-east to Sokota. This 
province was once the place of the Royal residence, and 
was adorned with many fine churches, whicli have been 
dilapidated and destroyed by the Mahomedan and Galla 
conquerors. Angot is very elevated and very mountainous, 
abounding with springs, rivulets, and small rivers. The 
soil in the valleys is good and productive — cultivation and 
harvest go on together throughout the year. The coun- 
try has large flocks of sheep and herds of very fine cattle. 
Alvaraez says he met with some of the finest wheat in 
Angot that he ever saw in any country. The climate in 
the valleys is delicious ; but on the mountains it is exceed- 
ingly cold. Pearce in the month of October, found hoar- 
frost in the morning, on the summits of some, to the south 
of Lake Assanghe ; and where Mr. Krapf crossed the di- 
viding range, he estimated the height at 1 0,000 feet, the 
air keen and cold in March, and the country bleak and 
barren, with the scanty vegetation of extreme northern 
regions. The river Sabalette, according to Alvaraez, then 
separated Tigre from Angot, the capital of which was 
called Angeteraz, situated on a dry river, which shews 
that its course was short from the mountains, the dry sea- 
son having tlien just begun. 

At the river Aucona, described by Alvaraez as a con- 


siderable river, commences the province or district of Bug- 
na or Bugana, the Portuguese name for Lasta. It is 
extremely mountainous, six days' journey from east to 
west, and three from north to south, the climate cold. 
It produces hemp, fine wheat, and abundance of cattle. 
This account given by Alvaraez is confirmed by Mr. Krapf 
and others in every respect. In continuing his route 
south west, Alvaraez describes the road as dreadful, 
" crawling" over stupendous ridges and traversing deep 
valleys, hill after hill, and valley after valley, exactly as Mr. 
Krapf and others found in parts immediately adjoining. 
The Dobas were in the days of Alvaraez Mahomedans, 
and their country, which was divided into twenty four 
captaincies, frequently at war with each other, extended 
from the borders of Angot fifteen days' journey to the Sea. 
The language of Angot began at Defarfo, which town was 
called Angotina. Near it, Alvai-aez saw 50,000 oxen, 
besides wheat. Angot produces barley, millet, beans, &c. 
A district of Bugana or Lasta, was known in the days of 
Alvaraez (1520) under the name of Acate, most probably 
the modern Sokota, in which were many fine churches, and 
the country produced fine wheat. Bruce states, that Bu- 
gana Bugna, or Lasta, may be said to belong to Angot ; but 
he just reverses its position, making it to the east of Angot. 
The name Corcora has given rise to great confusion in 
the Geography of this portion of Africa. There are two 
places of that name, one Corcora, a river to the north-east 
of Antalow ; and the other Corcora of Angot, a place six 
miles to the east of the river Sabalette. By not attend- 
ing to this distinction, much confusion has been created, 
and one error led to another. 

* Vol. iii. p. 7. 


The positions of these places are also well established by 
the following references. According to Bruce,* Ginna- 
mora was a small district of Abyssinia or Tireg bordering 
on the Dobas, and the people of which King David ap- 
pointed to subdue the latter. Another proof of their posi- 
tions in the south of Abyssinia is found in Bruce,f where 
he speaks of the savage people called Azeba, who dwell at 
Azab, and of their neighbours the Doha, more savage 
than they. King Yabous of Abyssinia, who went to sub- 
due both, marched straight from Enderta to the low coun- 
try about Azub ; and from thence, turning .to the right 
upon the Dobas, he successively invaded, desolated, and 
conquered both ; and having done so, returned to Enderta. 
Next in order comes the Province of Dowaro, the true 
position of which has been still less attended to. This 
neglect has produced most serious errors in the Geography 
of this once important portion of Africa. Dowaro was 
next to Angot on the south-east. It was bounded on the 
north by part of the Kingdom of Dankali ; it was sepa- 
rated from Angot and Dankali by the river Hawash, and 
bordered to the south upon Adel. The capital of Adel 
was not far from the capital of Dowaro, called Gaza. 
West of Dowaro was Gedem, a hilly country. Dowaro was 
the most eastern portion of Abyssinia, and bounded by the 
44th degree of East Longitude,:!: Through this province, the 
Abyssinian armies from Angot, Tigre &c. penetrated into 
Adel. On the banks of a river called Wole, the Abys- 
sinian emperor, Amda Sion, fought a most decisive battle 
with the sovereign of Adel. He passed the Wole, and 
cut them off from Adel ; and the host of the latter attempt- 
ing to retreat by passing the river lower down, were at- 
* Vol. iii. p. 173. + Vol. iv. p. 13G. ^ Bruce, vol. iii. pp. 2, 7, ")7. 


tacked by the Abyssinians then on the right bank, and 
either slaughtered, or driven into the river at that point of 
considerable depth. This river Wole of Bruce, is doubt- 
less the river Ala mentioned by Mr. Krapf fSee Map. J 

Adjoining Dowaro, was the kingdom of Adel, and the 
particular province of that name. Adel or Adaial, was 
a general name given to the whole Mahomedam popula- 
tion of the eastern Horn of Africa. In the early periods 
of their history, it was specially confined to the country 
extendingfrom the Straits of Babelraandeb to the confines 
of Berbera on the sea coast and limits of the Abyssinian 
Empire inland ; but when this kingdom of Adel proper was 
almost annihilated by the conquests of Amda Sion, be- 
tween 1312 and 1342, the Mahomedans fled to the 
southward, and the states subsequently composing their 
Empire went under the name of Adel, and which extend- 
ed south to Magadosho and east to Cape Guardafui until 
overwhelmed and broken by the Somauli and Galla. But 
besides the general Empire of Adel, there was a particular 
portion of it which went by that name. The kingdoms of 
Adel and Mara, extended, we are told by Bruce, to the shores 
of the Sea.* Mara is called the desert Kingdom of Mara,t 
and of which Zeilah seems to have been the port and at one 
time the capital. Adel was bounded by the Dankali on the 
north, and extended to Assab. To the north and north- 
west was Dowaro ; to the east the Sea from Assab to the 
bays of Tajoura ; and to the south and east Mara.f The 
capital was Aussa, situated on a rock by the side of the 
river Hawash, and not far from the Lake of that name. 
On the west and south-west, Adel was bounded by the 
Empire of Abyssinia, in that portion of it which is now 
* Vol. iii. p. 50. t Ibid p. 71. 


known under the name of the kingdom of Shoa. Aussa 
during the height of the power of Adel, was a place of 
considerable impoitance. The position of the province 
of Adel is also well marked by the fact, that before one 
of his struggles with the Sovereign of Abyssinia and when 
that Prince was about to attack first the Dobas, the King 
of Adel advised them to send their wdves and children into 
Adel for safety, which twelve clans of them accordinglv 
did ; while the King of Abyssinia made his subjects of 
Wadje (W''aag) and Ganz cultivate the grounds which they 
had left.* 

Mara. This province was bounded by Adel on the north 
and north-west, by the sea on the east, and by the Hawash, 
Gan and Bali and the State of Harrar on the west, south- 
west, south, and by some petty states to the south of Zei- 
lah on the south-east. It was comparatively a dry country, 
as we find all that country from the Hawash to Zeilali 
now is ; but it was in former days powerful and rich, the 
commerce from India to the Persian Gulf and Abyssinia, 
and other parts of Africa adjacent, passing through it. 
The capital of Hadea (Hurrur) was situated to the south- 
ward and south-westward of Mara ; Wogla, and Pagama, 
small principalities dependent upon Adel, being upon the 
sea-coast. f The centre of Mara was approached from Do- 
waro, and from Dowaro the King of Abyssinia crossed the 
Hawash, in order to enter " the desert kingdom of Mara.":t 
That the kingdom of Mara is also applied to all or a 
portion of the kingdom of Adel near the sea is, I think, ob- 
vious, from the account of the King of Abyssinia in one of 
his excursions passing the great river Yass, which river is 
stated to be in the kingdom of Mara. Advancing beyond, 
* Bruce, vol. iii. p. 115. f lb. p. 47. ^ lb. p. GO", dc. 


he came to the strong fortress of Dassi, where there was 
no water, except what was found by digging in the earth 
and sand.* Now Yasso or Yass must be the river which is 
formed by the united streams of the Ala, the Ancona, and 
Sabalette, called also Hanazo ; for except the Hawash, there 
is no other river in these quarters which deserves the name 
of great, f Salt says expressly, that the river Yass was to the 
north of Zeilah. Being in the rainy season, however, when 
the king entered this country, it may have been the river 
mentioned by M. Rochet as rising in Killalou. When joined 
by its tributaries to the north, it would at that season be 
a large stream. The inhabitants of Aussa and Adel are 
tawny, not black, and have long hair. They are some- 
times called Ghiberties, which means, strong in the faith. 
The country around the Hawash, and in the valleys, is called 
Kolla, or Khulla, the low country, to distinguish it from 
the high mountainous districts of Abyssinia and Shoa. 
It is very fertile, but hot, and in the rainy season sickly. 
The name is applied generally throughout Africa, to desig- 
nate the low from the mountainous districts. Beyond the 
Kolla, or low country mentioned, is the country named Sam- 
har, which is a general word used to designate the sea- 
coast in a country dry and barren. 

Having thus, it is humbly conceived, rectified the geo- 
graphical positions of these and more important provinces 
of Mahomedan dominion in Eastern Africa, the positions 
of other places deserve less notice, and only require to be 
enumerated to be seen and understood on the maps. 

Adjoining to and south-eastward of Efat is the district 
of Gan, and adjoining and eastward of it again is Bali, a 
small kingdom, through which the Gallas first rushed into 
* Bruce, vol. iii. p. 48. t Salt, p. 102. 


Abyssinia in 1559, Bali is west south-west of Zeilah, and 
south-west of Mocawa. Fattigar, * once a considerable 
province, lies to the southward and south-westward of 
Gan and Bali of the ancient Mahomedans. The capital 
is called Bulga, a name which is sometimes given to the 
whole pro\'ince. To the eastward and southward of these 
last named provinces or districts, lies Hadea, called also Har- 
rar, or in the Abyssinian mode of pronounciation, Harraye, 
after the capital, called also Harrar. This place was once 
the seat of a great Mahomedan state, and the centre of 
their power in this portion of Africa, after the kingdom of 
A del was overthrown. In the days of Alvaraez the territory 
of Hadea stretched to Magadoxa. To the west of Hadea, 
he states, was Gan, and south-west from it Gurague. In 
this kingdom was a great lake so broad, that one side 
could not be seenfi-om the other.* This must be the Souie 
or Zawaja, which is stated by late travellers to be very large 
and broad. The country around it is very fine, but sickly. 
Mahommed, surnamed Gragne, or left handed, ruled this 
country about the year 1525 ; and soon after Alvaraez left 
Abyssinia, he invaded, and during the reign of that unfor- 
tunate prince, David, overran and almost ruined the whole 
of Abvssinia. He was at length conquered and killed by 
the aid of some Portuguese troops, Abyssinia delivered, 
and Hadea, like other states in this portion of Africa, over- 
whelmed by the Gallas. 

According to Bruce,! Hadea was a large town with five 
gates, and then the capital of Adel, Aussa being then de- 
pendent upon it. Ninety-nine villages paid tribute to it, 
and its Chief was constantly engaged in war with the 
Abyssinians and the Galla. It is still a place of some impor- 
* Rochet, p. lOG. t Vol. vii. pp. 91,92. 


tance, and carries on a considerable traffic with Berbera 
and Zeilah. The distance to Berbera is twenty journeys, 
to Ankobar seventeen, and to Zeilah, according to Harris, 
fourteen. Bruce and Alvaraez state the latter distance to 
be eight days' journey ; but this may be the distance when 
travelled by a special messenger. From Aussa to Harrar 
the distance given by Bruce was seven days of a messen- 
ger, and Harris gives it the same. According to the ac- 
counts received by Harris, Harrar exports to Zeilah and 
Berbera yearly 2000 bales of coffee, besides wheat. The 
population is agricultural, use the Arabic language, and are 
subject to the Essa Somauli. Their language has an affin- 
ity to the Amharic. The climate is warmer than that of 
Shoa. From Errur to Harrar the road is stony, but suffi- 
ciently level to admit the transport of guns or carriages. 
The walls of the town are twelve feet high, three feet thick, 
and two hours' travel in circumference. It is situated in a 
verdant valley, and is well supplied with water from springs 
in the neighbourhood. The country to the southward is 
mountainous, but fertile and fine, even southward toward 
Magadoxo. So Alvaraez relates on the authority of a king 
of Abyssinia, who, during his residence at that court, went 
with an array to restore the authority of the queen, who 
had been threatened with expulsion from the throne by 
some of her warlike neighbours. The king defeated them, 
pursued them southward a great distance, adding, that he 
might have marched to Magadoxo. 

Regarding the rivers in this portion of Africa, our ac- 
counts are imperfect. When the King of Abyssinia had 
conquered Zeilah, he marched southward, subduing the 
different small states, and, in the early part of his route, 
passed the great river Acco. This is most probably the 


Wochane of modern maps. Salt says that it was at no great 
distance from Zeilah, in an opposite direction from the 
Yass, which is to the north. The king next crossed the 
great river Zorat, wliich is an early branch of the river 
that enters the sea, not far from Magadoxo. The Zorat 
is in the country of a people then called Oritii. Salt says, * 
that the extent of the King of Abyssinia's conquests in this 
country, was about 200 miles south-west of Zeilah. This 
river, which enters the sea near Magadoxo, according to 
accounts received by the Embassy of Captain Harris, f 
enters the sea in latitude 2° north, and among other names 
which it has, is also called Bargama. This enables us to 
trace the early sources of its principal stream in the coun- 
try of Bargama, or Bahar-Gama, as Bruce also calls it. + 

From Hurrur or Harar westward, the different states, so 
far as they are correctly known to us, are laid down in their 
order, and as near their proper positions (see map) as the in- 
formation hitherto received will enable us. Some of them 
will require to be more particularly alluded to hereafter. 

Of the magnitude, power, and population of all the states 
and provinces which composed the kingdom of Adel in its 
best davs, we may judge from the fact mentioned in Abys- 
sinian history, as recorded by Bruce, § that when their 
existence as a people was at stake, on the advance of 
Amda Zion against them, they could only bring into the 
field under their sixteen chiefs or leaders 44,000 men. 

After all Arabia had embraced the Religion of Mahom- 
raed, her roving sons quickly found their way into Africa, 
which they first entered across the Straits of Babelmandcb. 
They soon spread themselves along the shores of the 
Red Sea within and without the Straits. For a time 
♦ p. 102. t Bombay Times, July, 1842. :: Vol. iii. p. 7. § lb. p. 71- 



they were subject to Abyssinia, then a powerful state ; but 
they gradually assumed an independent and aggressive 
attitude. Commanding the external trade of this portion 
of Africa with all the Eastern world, they became rich and 
powerful, and from the spirit of their Religion, were mak- 
ing continual inroads into the Abyssinian territories. This 
provoked Amda Zion, who, in the early part of the 1 3th 
century, nearly — as has been already stated — destroyed 
them, and completely annihilated the kingdom of Adel. On 
the decline of their power, the Arabs were succeeded by the 
Turks, who spread themselves in these parts, and by the 
assistance of artillery and the new mode of warfare which 
it occasioned, again recruited the Mahomedan power in 
this part of Africa. During the reign of the unfortunate 
Abyssinian Prince David, 1525 to 1540, the Mahomedans 
overran and desolated the whole of Abyssinia, till they were 
overthrown by the assistance of the Portuguese ; and subse- 
quently the conquerors and the conquered, especially the 
latter, were overpowered by the barbarous Gallas. This 
savage people completely destroyed the Mahomedan 
power throughout the whole Eastern Horn of Africa, and 
the once great Abyssinian Empire has been shockingly 
mutilated and curtailed of its territories by them. 

But to return to the journeys of the travellers imme- 
diately under consideration. Between Ankobar and Angol- 
lala, a favourite residence of the King, Mr. Isenberg 
and his companion met Sahela Salassieh, the King of Shoa, 
the Christian sovereign of a Christian people. By him 
they were cordially received and welcomed to Shoa, and 
under the protection of such a Sovereign, great is the good 
that such worthy men may do in Africa. The King of 
Shoa is despotic. Person and property are alike at his 


disposal throughout his dominions. The Christianity of 
Shoa is the tenets of the Alexandrian Greek Church, but 
sadly debased and corrupted from its original purity. 
Still, amidst the darkness which has overspread the land, 
several of the most important and fundamental truths of the 
Gospel are known, acknowledged, and understood, though 
greatly disregarded. Greatly corrupted and debased, 
however, as it is, still, considering every circumstance, the 
revolutions and desolation which have come upon them, 
and with which they have been visited during a period of 
many centuries, it is surprising to find matters, as regards 
the Christian Rehgion in those remote pai'ts of Africa, in 
the state that they are. These place before us the invinci- 
ble proof, by the fact witnessed in Africa, as it has before 
time been witnessed and established in both Europe and 
Asia, that Christianity once planted in any country can 
never be eradicated ; and that, though for a time it may, 
from the transgressions of professors thereof, be subjected 
to severe misfortunes, and severe chastisements, yet it will 
finally raise itself above the ruins of ages and of Empires, 
and in the beauty of holiness, rise superior to all its ene- 
mies, and go on conquering and to conquer. 

The journals of Messrs. Krapf and Isenberg will suffici- 
ently explain to the reader their reception and their pros- 
pects in Shoa, the state of Religion, and the manners and 
the morals of the people of that kingdom, as also those 
of some of the neighbouring people. Leaving this, we 
proceed to the geographical narrative. 

On the 28th January 1840, Mr. Krapf (Mr. Isenberg 
having previously returned to England) accompanied the 
King of Shoa with a considerable army on a hostile expe- 
dition to the westward, in order to punish some of his 
C 2 


refractory Galla subjects. M. Rochet, the French gentle- 
man already alluded to, accompanied them. The army 
marched in about a true west-south-west direction in the 
route as laid down on the map. They first crossed the 
river Tshalsha, then the Belat, then the Sana Robi, then the 
RosetaandDekama, the head streams of the Ziega Wodiam, 
and next the Robi, the parent stream of the great Indores. 
Some other smaller streams wei'e passed in the route, all 
bending their courses to the Djimma. The country as 
they advanced from Angollala became more beautiful and 
fruitful, every hill and valley being, it may be said, inha- 
bited by a distinct Galla tribe. Their names are particu- 
larly enumerated by Mr. Krapf. The huts and villages of 
these people are of the rudest and simplest kind ; and in 
the perpetual feuds that ensue, from their refusal to pay 
the tributes exacted, these are generally swept away by 
fire, but are soon again erected. From a high mountain, 
one of the Wogidi range, to the north of the encampment 
by the Robi, they saw the mountains of Gojam and the 
Blue River or Abawi, winding along among them. The 
march was continued from the Robi still further west south- 
west, till their last camp was fixed within a few miles of 
the soui'ces of the Hawash, proceeding from a small lake 
with high mountains to the south and south-west. At 
this point they were only one day's (Shoa) journey from 
the Abawi, or about twenty-five miles, which shews that 
the Nile goes a little further south, about twenty miles, 
than it has hitherto been laid down on the best maps. 
From the point mentioned, the army marched east south- 
east, at about a day's journey from the Hawash, running 
along the valley on their right : one day's journey beyond 
it was the first village of Gurague, the high hills of which 


were distinctly visible in the south-east. In their route 
they passed to the south of the high mountain of Indotto, 
the source of the River Robi, and famous in Abyssinian 
history as the residence and place of interment of some of 
their kings. From the extreme south-east point on their 
route, as marked in the map, the army returned in a north- 
east direction over the high lands to Angollala, leaving 
Fattigar on the right. Beyond Indotto they passed some 
hot springs. Fattigar in the days of Alvaraez was ac- 
counted the extreme south-west point of the kingdom of 
Adel. It is, he said, a low Champagne country, that is, 
composed of low hills, well cultivated, and abounding with 
cattle, sheep, goats, oxen, mares, and mules. Mount Indotto 
was covered with trees, and numerous rivulets pour down 
from its steep sides : on its summit is a considerable lake. 
Such are the accounts which Alvaraez gives of these 
places when he visited them, and the accounts received by 
Mr. Krapf are nearly to the same effect. 

The Hawash near its source meanders eastward through 
the plain, being there about eight feet deep, and twenty-five 
broad. It separates the provinces of Souaie, Gurague, and 
the Sedda Gallas from the Meta Vochia Gallas, Belcheo Au- 
rippe, and part of the Province of Zamietta. The mountains 
of Zamietta are covered with beautiful cedars. Mr. Krapf 
enumerates the different Galla tribes from the sources of the 
Hawash to Gooderoo, which place it is plain is at no great 
distance. The village of Rogie is a famous market for slaves, 
brought from the countries of Gingiro, Gurague, Enarea, 
and other places. The price of a slave is five Talari. 

According to Bruce * Gumar is south-west of Fattigar, 
and east of Bahar Gama. But this is different from the 

* Xo]. iii. p. 7. 


position hitherto given in the best maps. The capital of 
Gingiro is seven days' journey due east from Sakka, the 
chief market of Enarea. Cambat is eight days' journey 
due east from Gingiro, the road to Gingiro crossing the 
Zebee one day's journey from the capital, and the road to 
Cambat crosses the Zebee, two days' journey from Gingiro. 
This latter place was once a powerful state, having four- 
teen states subject to it ; but it is now much reduced. 
The capital of Cambat is called Sangara. According to 
Bruce, Gurague was ten days' journey distant from Cambat, 
and on the left hand going eastward. Gingiro was re- 
ported to Mr. Krapf to be only eight days' journey from 
Gurague. North of Gingiro is the country of Mugar or 
Magar, a powerful and populous country inhabited by 
Christians, and next to Enarea on the east. It is the 
same as Sidama, a name generally applied in these parts to 
designate a distinct inhabited by Christians. The Aroosse 
Gallas are east of Gurague, and so also is the Sierme and 
Luban. AUaba is a kingdom on the road from Cambat to 
Bali. South-west by west of Zeilah is a country called 
Ogge, inhabited by Christians. South of Gurague is a 
Galla tribe called Damo, dwelling around the River Wiser. 
There are a great many Christians in Gurague, and many 
monasteries. Much coffee, wine, and fine honey are pro- 
duced in Gurague ; and coffee is also abundant in the 
countries around the sources of the Hawash, and in fact 
it is found plentiful in all the countries from the Nile 
southward to Enarea and Caffa inclusive. It grows wild 
in all these places. 

A great many of the Gallas have since their invasion of 
Abyssinia been converted to Christianity, and make 
better Christians than either the population of Shoa or 


Abyssinia. In general they dislike the Christian Religion, 
because, they say, that the people of Shoa, who profess it, 
are no better than themselves. The great body of them 
cling to the religion of their forefathers, which is pure 
and simple Paganism. Among them are no Ministers of 
Religion of any description. They worship a superior being 
under the name of Waake, the Ouack of Ouare, the Galla 
lately brought to France. They pay adoration to the Moon, 
and also to certain Stars, and in every tribe they worship the 
Wanzey tree, under which their Kings are crowned. Some 
of them to the south have been converted to the Mahom- 
medan faith. The Pagan Gallas have limited ideas of future 
punishment ; their marriages are extremely simple, and 
they have a great affection for their children. Circumci- 
sion is known and practised among them. It is also 
remarkable, that " when an elder brother dies, leaving 
younger brothers behind him, and a widow young enough 
to bear children, the younger brother of all is obliged to 
marry her ; but the children of the marriage are always 
accounted as if they were the elder brother's ; nor does the 
marriage of the younger brother to the widow entitle him 
to any part of the deceased's fortune." * They are all 
extremely filthy in their habits, anointing their heads and 
bodies with melted butter or grease. They are generally 
of a brown complexion and well formed ; many of them 
are very fair and almost white, arising probably from the 
great elevation of the country from whence they origi- 
nally came. Although they have little or no idea of 
future punishment, yet " all of them believe, that after 
dcatli they are to live again ; that they arc to rise with 
their bodies as they were on earth, to enter into another life, 

* Bruce, Vol. iii. p. 247. 


they know not where, but they are to be in a state of body 
infinitely more perfect than the present, and are to die no 
more, nor suffer grief, sickness, or trouble of any kind." 

In 1841 Mr. Krapf, accompanied by Dr. Beke, now 
engaged in endeavouring to penetrate into the interior of 
Africa from Shoa westward, went on an excursion to 
the northward. They reached Kok Fara, a place about 
forty geographical miles north of Ankobar, and two days' 
journey south of the Berkona. In their route northwards 
they passed the sources of the Rivers Awiddi, Robi, and 
others, which flow into the H awash ; and on their return, 
thev crossed on their immediate sources a few of the rivers 
which join to form various rivers that flow to fill the 
River Djimma, a considerable branch of the Nile, or 
Abawi. The province of Gheddem or Gedem lay to the 
east and south-east of Kok Fara, and in the latter direc- 
tion there is a wilderness much frequented by elephants. 
The country throughout their short route was rugged and 
mountainous in the extreme, — abrupt hills, deep valleys, 
and numerous rivulets and small rivers (see map) at every 
step. Ephrata, one day's journey north of Rok Fara, is the 
last town in that direction belonging to the kingdom of 
Shoa. The country beyond is under the dominion of Bora, 
the ruler of Argobba. On a bearing of North 38° west 
from the valley of Wock Washa, is a lake called Ali Baks- 
cour, which is of volcanic origin. 

The next journey which requires to be noticed here, is 
that performed by Dr. Beke from AngoUala westward, 
across the Abawi or Nile to Dima in Gojam, where the 
last accounts left that traveller. This journey was under- 
taken in the autumn of 1841. Dr. Beke left Angollala 

* Bruce, Vol. iii. p. 244. 


on the ninth of October. He pursued the route as laid 
down in the map through a country exceedingly picturesque 
and interesting. Tlie rivers ran in deep valleys with steep 
hills on either sides as their banks. The Bersena, Tshalsha, 
and Chakka join, and form the Adebai. The strong town 
and position of Dey is from six hundred to seven hundred feet 
below Angollala, and situated at the junction of the Adebai 
and Bersena. The continuation of the plateau of Shoa is 
seven thousand eight hundred and eighty- seven feet above 
the level of the sea. Several stupendous cataracts are 
foimd in the rivers near Angolalla and Tegulet. The 
road was westerly, always descending, and the scenery 
very beautiful. Where he crossed the Bersena the bed of 
the river was one hundred feet broad; but the stream 
in it then only twenty feet broad, the dry season having 
commenced. The district south of the Bersena is called 
Enzarro. Tobacco, cotton, maize, &c., were cultivated 
around the rivers. Enzarro is populous and fertile. In 
the route westward, he passed rivulets, Kersa and Bon, 
which, united, flow north-west to the Djimma. Soon 
after this he came to the Ziega Wodiam, running rapidly 
through deep valleys or dales to the Djimma. On each 
side were rocky bluffs. The bed of the river was about 
two hundred feet broad ; but the breadth of the stream 
then only twenty feet, and eighteen inches deep. The 
bottom was sand. The mountains are precipitous, and 
run in ridges from south to north on the south side of 
the Djimma, and from north to south on the north side 
of that river, the rivers running in deep valleys between 
them. On the left was the deep and fine valley of the 
Ziega Wodiam, and that of Sofa to the right. The cele- 
brated raonasterv of Dobra Libanos is about eight miles 


south-east from Ancorcha. It was at that place that 
Alvaraez with the Portuguese Embassy reached the court 
of David, King of Abyssinia. The vicinity of Angorcha is 
mountainous and barren. Gold has been found near 
Dobra or Debra Libanos. 

Proceeding westward, Dr. Beke crossed the River Sofa 
and the valley through which it runs, extending in a south- 
west direction, after which he came to high table land, 
which extends from the Abawi to Ankobar. He reached 
Gera, the political seat of Abba Wial, the Governor of the 
district, who prefers to reside at Wogidi. This place stood 
in a plain on a mountain, from the Chief's house in which 
there was a fine view of the Djimma and a most dehghtful 
prospect of the country as far as the Abawi or Nile, and 
beyond it the mountains of Gojam. After leaving Wogidi, 
he crossed the large stream called Sielrae, the general name 
for the Galla tribes in the neighbourhood; the stream 
running rapidly over stones to the Djimma ; the water from 
fifteen to twenty feet broad, but the bed three times 
that breadth. The road ran through a beautiful plain to 
Lalissa : the country between it and Sielme is studded with 
villages. Pursuing their route westward, they crossed the 
torrent Hidalli, then little Indores River, and next Great 
Indores (the source of which to the south is the Robi), 
the stream running between steep banks, then ten feet 
broad. From the great Indores, the ride was through a 
lovely rich country to the village Adda ; after which the 
road becomes rough and rugged to Abaddo, the residence 
of the Galla Chief Gianche. Beyond Abaddo, three hours 
through jungle, and down a steep mountain principally on 
foot, the River Djimma, not Jumma, was reached. The 
mountains on both sides dip into the stream, here twenty- 


five to thirty yards broad, with a beach on each side of 
equal extent, and the depth three feet, with a rapid cur- 
rent in the middle. Crossing the river they pursued 
their way, in some places through rich meadows, to Sala- 
kuUa, a village composed of reed huts, and built upon 
an elevated projection of the mountain, lining the valley 
of the Abawi, and the residence of the Chief Maria, the son 
of Sabasa, who appeared to be as poor as any of his 
miserable subjects, Salakulla is 10^ 2' 8" North Latitude. 

After some wrangling with this Chief, Dr Beke pro- 
ceeded to the Abawi, a few miles distant, passing the 
villages of Sakka and Felop. The stream descended from 
the north-north-west, amidst steep banks descending 
in terraces. Dr. Beke considered the river as fordable ; 
but his guides would not hear of passing it in any other 
way than that to which they were accustomed, namely, on 
inflated skins, by which means the travellers' baggage was 
all wetted and much injured, and subsequently in drying it, 
a considerable portion of it was stolen. He crossed the 
stream at a bend where it comes from east-north-east. The 
breadth then was two hundred yards, the current on the 
east side two miles, and on the west side three miles per 
hour— so rapid as to render it difficult to reach that side. 
A mule was carried down and nearly drowned. This 
passage was effected at no very great distance above the 
junction of the Djimma. The elevation of the bed of the 
Nile, Dr. Beke calculated to be three thousand feet above 
the level of the sea ; but which does not agree with the 
height of its sources, or the elevation of the Tlain of Scnaar 
as given by Bruce, of which more hereafter. 

From the banks of the Abawi, Dr. Beke went on to 
Diraa in Cojam, commonly known under the name of Diraa 


Georges, from a monastery and church dedicated to St. 
George, which stands in that place. It is a considerable 
place, speaking comparatively as regards other towns and 
villages in this quarter. It stands in 10" 22' North Lati- 
tude. The town is surrounded with stone walls, and 
there are also several houses in it built of stone. In his 
way to Dima, Dr. Beke passed the villages of Shebal, Kas- 
ham, and Arisetot, the former of which divides the Christian 
from the Galla ; then the town Bichana, a considerable 
place, at which a regular market is held. Before reach- 
ing Dima, the River Gad is crossed just above a point 
where it falls over a precipice several hundred feet high. 
Owing to the great height of the fall, the river in the dry 
season descends in complete spray ; but during the rains 
the sight must be magnificent. The country from Shebal 
to Dima was generally undulating and a fine grassy plain. 
From Dima, Dr. Beke intended to proceed to Goutta, at the 
sources of the Nile, and thence, by the assistance of the 
Chief of that place, whom he met at Dima, and then 
about to be restored to his authority, to proceed to Bure 
and Basso, in order to prosecute his journey into the 

In the spring of 1842, Mr. Krapf resolved to leave 
Ankobar, and proceed to Egypt on business, with the inten- 
tion of returning again to Shoa ; and he resolved to proceed 
by Gondar and Massowah. He accordingly left Ankobar 
on the 10th of March, and proceeding to AngoUala ob- 
tained from the king permission to depart on his intended 
journey. From Angollala he proceeded to Dobra Berhan, 
or "hill of light," a favourite residence of the kings, the 
country in the distance being level, with small hills and 
plains. The river Beresa runs south of the village, the 


banks high and wooded, with several high cataracts in its 
bed. 3Ir. Krapf's route is distinctly marked on the map, 
until he reached about half way between the Bachilo and 
Daunt, where he was forced to turn back and proceed 
southward to Gatera, from which place he travelled east- 
ward to Lake Haik, resolving to take the road to Mas- 
sowah by Antalow. To his journal the reader is referred 
for every thing particular that occurred on the road ; the 
various rivers and places that he passed are all distinctly 
laid dowTi. The country everywhere was mountainous 
and rugged, the hills precipitous, and the rapid rivers and 
rivulets flowing over cataracts through deep valleys, the 
descent to some of which was, in a very short distance, 
3000 feet. The ridges run in the direction of north north- 
east to south south-west, and Mr. Krapf distinctly states, 
that all the streams which flow westward from the dividing 
range are absorbed in the Djimma and the Bachilo. This 
is curious and important. It shows that the high land of 
the mountains of Amid extends across the Abawi to the 
culminating points in Woora Galla ; and hence the district 
of Walaka is elevated, but wet and marshy, and conse- 
quently sickly, as it is stated to be ; and that no river of 
any importance flows, or can flow through it westward to 
the Nile. The country in several places is fertile and well 
cultivated, but much distracted and injured by wars and 
strifes between the difterent petty tribes and rulers, who 
set the authority of the sovereign of Abyssinia on the one 
hand, and the King of Shoa on the other, equally at defi- 
ance, i^fter crossing the river Gonagonit, came to a tre- 
mendous chasm, three feet wide and 200 feet long ; but of 
unknown and enormous depth. It is called Tegulet Wat, 
or "the devouring depth of Tegulet." At Zalla Dengai 


the cold was great. The river Mofer separates Shoa from 
Mans. This stream receives many tributaries. It rises in 
Mount Tamabar and flows to the Djimma. The chmate of 
Mans is very cold, which shows its great elevation. Sheep 
in Mans have long black wool. The soil is black, and pro- 
duces wheat, barley, peas, beans, hogs and sheep in abun- 
dance. The river Xetmat where crossed, was then only 
fourteen feet broad. The district of Sala is bounded north 
by the river Aflamat, and east by Gheddem. West of the 
route was a large deep basin, into which the rivers Igam, 
Aflamat, and others join, and afterward form the Knowa 
under the general name of Gherid, and which joins the 
Djimma, near Koom Dangai in Shoa Meda. In his route 
hence, Mr. Krapf crossed the river Shai, which goes 
through the famous Lake Alebai on the west of Mans, 
after leaving which the river is called Shammas, and joins 
the Djimma. This lake is a day's journey in circumference. 
The tradition is, that it was formed by a destruction or 
visitation similar to that which destroyed Sodom and Gom- 
morrah. This is the lake, most probably, which is alluded 
to by Dr. Beke and Mr. Krapf as bearing north 38° west 
from the valley of Woch Washa. About the river Ghe- 
doot the country is volcanic, large rocks thrown down lay 
all around, and at Tagabile, seen at a distance, mineral 
waters were found. The river Kachenu was twenty-five 
feet broad, but the banks separate eighty feet. It is joined 
below by the rivers Katame and Woia, which come from the 
north of Shoa. The junction takes place in the north- 
west, at Dair, a frontier town and seat of the governor of 
the frontiers. The river Woia separates Woolla Galla from 
Shoa. The mountains in Woolla Galla are sometimes plain 
and level. The highest in this country are Sako, on which 


hailisfrequently seen, and Korhora and Yelt. Gaterais the 
capital of Woolla Gall a, ruled by Adara Bille ; and east of 
his territory is Worra Galla, under the ruler Beroo Soobo. 
The mountainous range to the east are part of the Efatian 
or Chakka chain. The boundary of the Worra Galla to 
the east is the country of Adel and the territory of Iman 
Faris, who resides in Gherfa. After leaving Tartar Amba, 
saw to the right two high steep hills, called upper and 
lower Chaffa. Tanta is the capital of the Tribe Worra 
Himana, where Imam Liban resides. The power of this 
Chief thirty years ago extended over Geshen, and to the 
frontiers of Lasta. Its extent now is five days' journey 
from east to west. Tanta contains 600 inhabitants. 

Here it may be remarked, how necessary it is to recon- 
sider conclusions come to on the spot, and how persons at 
a distance can see errors which travellers on the spot do not 
perceive. Thus Mr. Krapf says of the rivers Adella and Mel- 
cho Chilla, that the former comes from mount Korhora, and 
the latter from mount Sako. Soon after, when he came 
to travel eastward from Gatera to Lake Haik, he passed 
the river Gherado, which ran north-west to the Bachilo, 
which cuts off the sources of the two rivers mentioned in 
the mountains alluded to, and shows that their true sources 
are much short of these mountains, and to the west of the 
river Gherado last mentioned. 

The bed of the Bachilo was found to be 100 feet broad, 
but the breadth of water in it only thirty feet, and about 
half a foot deep. It is a fine river, and takes up the wa- 
ters of all the rivers and torrents in those parts. From it 
there was a fine view to the west of the monastery of Sa- 
mayda in the north-cast of Gojam, the mountains of Be- 
gemder, and capital of Ras Ali. Dcbra Sabor was also in 


view from an eminence to the eastward of the point where 
the Bachilo was first crossed. The course of the Bachilo 
is exceedingly winding and circuitous. The plain of Da- 
tanta to the north of the Bachilo was rich in cattle and 
grass, and indicated considerable wealth. The road to 
Maitsha was in the south-west corner of the plain. When 
advanced about six miles beyond the Bachilo, Mr. Krapf 
was obliged to turn back, and crossing the Bachilo higher 
up returned to Gatera by Tartar Amba and Totola, the 
latter one of the greatest markets in Abyssinia, and fre- 
quented by merchants from Gondar, Tigre, and Shoa. Be- 
roos people trade with theDannakils andTajoura. Leaving 
Totola and advancing to Gatera, they had a most magnifi- 
cent view of the territories of the Woolla Galla. Ranges 
of mountains run from south or south-east to north-east and 
north, each range separated from the other by a plain or a 
river, or a torrent. The rivers run chiefly to the Bachilo, 
which collects its waters from 100 miles round to carry 
its tribute to the Nile. Woorra Kallo, or "Woolla Galla, is the 
place where the caravans going to Aussa and Tajoura assem- 
ble. At Gatera Mr. Krapf was robbed and very ill-treated 
by the Chief Adara Bille, from whom he escaped after 
some difficulty. 

On the 6th of April, Mr. Krapf left Gatera, and pass- 
ing by Totola marched through a beautiful valley intersected 
by the river Gherado, which runs north-west to the Bachilo, 
he came to the Berkona, which descending from the north- 
west, soon after turns to the east, and runs to the country 
of Adel. Totola is in Woorra Kallo. The district of To- 
tola extends from ten to fifteen miles. The plain is watered 
by aqueducts, and has abundance of cattle. W^iere crossed, 
the river Berkona was twenty feet wide, and one span deep ; 


its source six miles distant, in the hill Boroo. Beyond the 
Berkona he came to mount Moffa, the capital of Amana, 
and in course of a few miles fui-ther came to the celebrated 
lake called Haik. Most of the waters of Woorra Kallo 
join the Berkona. The approach to lake Haik was through 
a beautiful fertile valley, the soil of which was a black 
mould. This celebrated lake is, according to Mr. Krapf, 
about forty-five miles in circumference ; its length from 
east to west greater than its breadth. It has several bays, 
and within a few hundred yards of the north-west corner, 
is an island called Debra Nayoodquad, (hill of thunder) 
distant from the mainland about 260 yards. The island is 
almost square, with a monastery and 100 houses. The 
surrounding scenery is fine, and the climate is agreeable. On 
the east and south sides there are steep mountains ; but on 
the other sides the shores are low. Alvaraez says, that it 
overflows at two places during the rains, which must, of 
course, be on the west side, and the superabundant waters 
must accordingly flow into the Berkona. High mountains 
stood to the north and north-west, one of which was mount 
Sagorat, at the northern foot of which rose the river 
Bachilo, not far from the sources of the Berkona : extreme 
high land, however, rising between them. 

Quitting Lake Haik, Mr. Krapf set out on his arduous 
journey to Antalow. After passing the village of Bora, 
he crossed the river Mille, then fifteen feet broad, and three 
inches deep. It springs from the foot of Mount Mofa, and 
joining the Berkona flows into the Hawash. The range 
of mountains previously alluded to, surrounds Abyssinia 
like a girdle toward the east and north-east. The Mille 
flowed through a beautiful valley, the soil of which was 
rich with trees and grass, but with little cultivation. Be- 


yond the Mille is the celebrated mountain in Geshen, for- 
merly the state prison for the royal family of Abyssinia. 
The proper name is Amba Israel, corrupted to Ambassil. 
It extends from nine to twelve miles in a northerly direction, 
and is very high and steep, with several conspicuous peaks. 
It is so steep and so high that Mr. Krapf conceived a can- 
non ball would not reach its summit. Mount Geshano 
lays to the north west of Mount Amba Israel. The 
Governor of the mountain was Ali Beroo : the population 
independent Mahomedans. The river Mille runs through 
the districts of Scoba and Goombesa, and passing them 
traverses the district of Wochale. Near Lubso they en- 
tered the country or province of Yeshoo, The village of 
Mersa is frequented by merchants from Yeshoo. The 
country east to the Dannakils was almost a wilderness. 
The River Ergibba runs to the country of Adel, and on its 
banks are many coffee trees. The people of Yeshoo have 
a curious custom of standing still and turning their backs 
to a stranger whom they may meet, till they receive a bless- 
ing. Something of this kind is witnessed in Georgia, and 
in countries to the south of the Cacausus. The village of 
Mersa is a little beyond the river of that name, which 
comes from the northwestward, and carries a considerable 
quantity of water in its bed. The climate in the plains is 
beautiful, and cotton and red pepper grow on the banks of 
the river. After crossing the Mersa they came to Woldaia, 
the capital of Dejasmady, the Governor of Yeshoo. Pur- 
suing the journey north-east, they crossed the river Ala, 
having previously crossed a stream called the black water, 
both of which run to the eastward. The Ala was a 
considerable stream. Stopping at the village of Shal 


for tlie night, they next day ascended the high land which 
divides Yeshoo from Lasta and the northern Angot. 

Shal is in the district of Sacke. In the forenoon, the 
travellers, after passing many rivulets, reached an 
elevated spot where the road divides, the one going north- 
west to Lalibela, and the other north-east to Sokota and 
Antalow. Angot commenced immediately to the east. 
The mountains run north-east from south and south- 
west : Angot is now dependent upon Yeshoo. At some 
distance to the east, saw a very high mountain in Angot 
inhabited by the Raia Gallas. A river runs through a 
plain in the province, the magnitude of which was uncer- 
tain. During the night they stopped at the village of 

Leaving Saragodel they ascended till about 9 a.m. — the 
road a complete wilderness. The highland of Lasta and 
Angot is very cold, and quite different from the climate of 
Yeshoo. There were no trees ; saw some foxes, no birds, 
nor travellers, nothing but desolation and a coarse grass 
called Goossar, the growth of most elevated cold places — 
the height here supposed to be 10,000 feet above the 
level of the sea. After mid-day they came to a few houses, 
and from two o'clock they began to descend, and the 
country began to improve, and water became abundant. 
They found many fine birds, and juniper trees, and nume- 
rous deep beds of rivulets, all of which had their courses 
to the north-west. The boundary mountains of Lasta 
and Wofila, send off streams which run to Adel. At the 
village of Deldie, or the bridge, the travellers rested for the 
night. This point is a place where the merchants going 
north to Waag and Sokota, or south from these places 
and Wofila, to Wolduia and Yeshoo, generally assemble. 


Quitting Deldei, they marched eastwai"d toward Wofila, 
and Lake Assanghe, in order that they might avoid Sokota, 
the Governor of which was stated to be a rude man ; and 
crossing the river Tarir, came to Endalke. This village 
belongs to Wofila, and is dependent upon the Governor of 
Waag. The road was intersected by rills and brooks. At 
a hamlet in Tantara, saw a man ploughing. They took the 
course more northerly in order to avoid the Raia Gallas. 
The road to Wofila was to the west of the Convent Sham- 
madoo Mariam. Road traversed hilly, but not rocky coun- 
try J and from the hills could see in the north north-west, 
the mountains of Lasta and the towering snowy peaks of 
Samen, like large towers. The hilly country of Lasta and 
Waag, as far as the eye could reach, exactly resembled the 
raging waves of the sea in a storm. Deldei is the boun- 
dary between the government of Waag and that of Djes- 
mady Paris. Waag is in the country of the Agows. Lasta 
is bounded south by Yeshoo, Wadela, and Angot ; west by 
Begemder ; north by Waag ; and east by Angot and the 
Raia Galla tribes. The principal towns of Wofila are 
Zelga, Bora, and Lake Assanghe. It is bounded north- 
east by Tigre. The Agows are different from all other 
Abyssinians. In Wofila, the country is better cultivated 
than in Waag and Angot. 

Pursuing their course northward, they reached Lat, a 
considerable village to the eastward, say east south-east, 
of which about eight to nine miles was the Lake Assanghe 
and village Wofila, near which and south-eastward of it 
was another but smaller lake. Lake Assanghe is sur- 
rounded by mountains. It is not so large as Lake Haik, 
and has no island in it. In the vicinity there are many 
villages. Zelga is due east of Lat. Leaving Lat they 


traversed for a little the dry bed of a river which runs to 
the Tacazze, then only a few days' journey distant. They 
were still far from Antalow. Shortly after, they crossed 
another river, its course north north-west, bearing down 
in its bed a considerable body of water. From this cross- 
ing a mountain, they on the following day crossed the 
river Ghebia, another tributarv to the Tacazze. They 
then entered the district of Bora and passed the Shum- 
shato, a tributary to the Tacazze, and with much water in 
its bed. The banks of the river were adorned with beauti- 
ful trees. Still in the Agows country. Ascending as 
thev proceeded, they had a good view of the province of 
Waag, which is mountainous, resembling in this respect 
Geshen and Northern Shoa. It is susceptible of cultiva- 
tion, and could maintain a much larger number of people 
than it now does. It is every where intersected by deep 
dales, steep hills, and torrents. Sokota is the principal 
market. On the twentieth of April they crossed the river 
Tyana. It is a fine river, and carries much water in its 
bed, and is a tributary to the Tacazze. It separates 
Waag from the province of Enderta, formerly part of 
Tigre. Every spot on its banks is well cultivated. The 
climate of Waag is beautiful, healthy, and has a fine air. 
Enderta is low and rather flat. Pursuing their journey 
over a mountain, and through a thorny uncultivated coun- 
try, first north-east, and then turning westward and 
crossing the rivulet Gumato, they, after a long and fatigu- 
ing journey, entered Antalow, the capital of Enderta. 
This town is much decayed, and most of the houses had 
been ruined in the wars which had taken place with the 
neighbouring countries. When Salt visited it in 1805 and 
last in 1 809, it was the capital of the Ras Welled Salesse, 


and of consequence a place of some importance, though 
even then it was not very large nor poj^ulous. Its situation, 
however, was commanding and fine. From Antalow, Mr. 
Krapf pursued his journey by Mount Taranta to Mas- 
sowah, at which place he embarked to proceed to Egypt. 

Having traced Mr. Krapf to Antalow, and in his jour- 
ney from Ankobar to that place, or by far the larger por- 
tion of it, through a country never before travelled over by 
any European, it becomes of some consequence to ascertain 
as near as possible the position of Antalow. Mr. Krapf's 
route from Lake Haik is in point of distance made good, 
and in bearings less easterly and more restricted than it is 
considered they might actually have been. From the 
strict letter of his narrative, Antalow should be a little 
more to the eastward and the northward, than the point 
where it is placed on the map. He himself states point- 
edly that the road to Antalow by Lake Assanghe would 
have been the nearest, thus indicating a more easterly posi- 
tion to the place. His last bearing, namely, proceeding 
west to Antalow, puzzles me, as it is seldom the guides so 
greatly overshoot their mark ; and it is by no means impro- 
bable that in this case the bearing has been reversed, and 
that his last journey to Antalow was to the east, and not to 
the west. If so, it would just place Antalow in a position 
where the road coming from the south by Lake Assanghe 
would have been the nearest to Antalow. In Salt's first 
voyage * the Latitude of Antalow from three observations 
is given 12° 48' north. In Salt's last voyage it is given 
13° 23' and the Longitude of Chilecut by observations of 
the Moon 39 33' east, but which he acknowledges was 

* Valentia, vol. iii. 


a doubtful observation, and gave the position too far to 
the west. In the midst of such discrepancies, there is no 
certainty nor safety, and therefore it becomes necessary 
to fix the point from bearings and distances which, as we 
are able to take and to check from various quarters, 
may be relied on as nearly correct, and which we are 
fortunately enabled to do in a satisfactory and convincing 

Bruce places Dixan from actual observation in 40^^ 
7' east Longitude ; but which I have altered to 40° 2', tak- 
ing the Longitude of Massowah by Ruppel, the difference 
being the error of Bruce, if error it is, which I much ques- 
tion. From Dixan to Antalow, the journey of Salt was to 
the eastward of south, and their return, as also Mr. Krapf's 
route from Antalow to Dixan and Halai, was to the west- 
ward of north. Attagerat, Mr. Ruppel tells us, is only 
two and a half days' journey from the sea in the Bay of 
Amphila. This brings its position to the east of its pre- 
sent place. But the following shews still more clearly the 
eastern position of Antalow. When two days journey 
north of Chehcut, Mr. Krapf states that they were then 
only five days' journey from Bure on the coast of the Red 
Sea. The Ras of Abyssinia in a conversation he had with 
Mr. Salt about the best and nearest port to Antalow from 
which the trade with England and India could be opened 
up confirms this, when he stated that Bure was only four 
days' journey (messengers it is supposed) from Antalow 
with a good camel road, and wxll supplied with water. 
The vicinity of the sea-coast to Antalow is also clearly 
shewn by the observation which Salt and the other officers 
of the Embassy made in reply that they considered Belur 
or Biloul as more eligible on account of " the vicinity of 


the place to his capital." * and we find that a messenger 
dispatched for the Chief of Bure, returned with him to 
Antalow in about ten days. When Pierce left Antalow, in 
order to escape from the service of the Ras, he travelled due 
south, and reached Wofila to the east of Lake Assanghe ; 
and as he makes no particular mention of crossing rivers in 
his route south, so it is clear he must have been, as he was, 
some distance to the east of Mr. Krapfs course going north. 
This further establishes the eastern, or rather the more eas- 
tern position of Antalow. About forty miles from Antalow, 
Pierce came to the province of Wojjerat ; sixteen miles more, 
to a plain inhabited by a portion of the Dobas ; fourteen 
miles more, to lyah, a town belonging to the Assubo Galla, 
and fourteen miles more (in time forty-two hours) toMocurra, 
one mile and a half from Lake Assanghe to the east. This 
distance gives not only the more eastern, but also the largest 
supposed northern point for the position of Antalow. 

When Mr. Krapf crossed the Tyana and other rivers, 
it was at the close of the dry season, when they were 
necessarily at the lowest ; consequently, the considerable 
quantity of water which was found in the beds of the 
Tyana and the Shumshato, shews that their sources must 
have been some distance to the eastward, and that Pierce 
must have passed them close to their sources, where they 
were such diminutive streams as not to be known or worth 
any particular notice. This view of the subject is not 
only borne out by Mr. Krapfs narrative, but corroborated 
by the route of Alvaraez in a wonderful degree. Corcora, 
from which he marched south-east, along " a goodly 
river " for six hours, this being in the rainy season, is 
one day's journey from the famous salt plain of Abyssinia, 
* Valentia, vol. iii. pp, 39, 40, &c. 


In his first day's journey from Corcora, he crossed a stu- 
pendous mountain, at the only point where it was passable, 
for a distance of sixtv miles. After this he reached the 
town of Manadele, certainly the Mantilli of Salt, south- 
east from Antalow. Manadele is situated in a cham- 
pagne country, six miles by two in extent, abounding in 
grain, which shews that it must be well watered. It is 
surrounded by very high mountains, and was then a 
place of great trade, being frequented by merchants from 
ever}' part of Abyssinia, Egypt, Greece, Arabia, Ormuz, 
India, and Adel. It was close to the countiy of the 
Dobas, but subject to Tigre. From Manadele, Alvaraez 
pursued his course to Defarfo, and thence travelling by the 
foot of the mountain of Ginnamora, from whence issued 
many small streams, he came to the river Sabalette, the 
boundary of Tigre in that quarter. His route by Mount 
Ginnamora was on its south-east side, the barrier and 
the division of the waters between the sources of the 
Tyana &c. flowing north-west, and the Sabalette and others 
flowing south-east. The positions of these places and 
rivers thus represented, give the distance from the western 
point of the Dobas to Assab fifteen days' journey, the time 
stated by Alvaraez, very correctly. 

From Lake Assanghe, Pearce pursued his journey 
westerly, passing to the east of the Lake, which is three 
days' journey in circuit, and called in the language of 
Tigre " Tsada Bahri," or White Sea, and to the west of 
the smaller lake, till he came to the village of Dafat, on 
the summit of Mount Dafat, where he rested for the night. 
Here he found the cold very keen, and hoar frost on the 
ground on the morning of October 1st. He then pur- 
sued his way west, about thirty-five miles, and came to the 



village of Marzalla, near the sources of the Tacazze, called 
" am Tacazze," or the eyes of the Tacazze, which are half 
a day's journey east of Lalibela, or rather the place where 
Lalibela once stood, but which is now occupied by a vil- 
lage called Bobbala by Lefevre's informant. From the 
sources of the river, he followed the windings of the 
stream to Mukkine, a distance of about fifteen miles, 
eight hours. Here the river was thirty feet broad. From 
this place he travelled north by east to Sokota, the capital 
of Lasta, about half way from which, and west of his route 
near the Tacazze, was the high mountain of Salah-ferre. 
This place or mountain is eight miles east of the river, 
and Sokota ten. The language of the country is Amharic. 
Sokota is larger than Antalow, and about six days' journey 
distant from it. Soon after leaving Sokota, Mr. Pearce 
entered the country of Waag, and journeying three days 
northward along the banks of the river through the coun- 
try of Gualieu, inhabited by the Agows, to a point on the 
Tacazze, about thirty miles south of the town of Maisada 
in the district of Avei"gale. From Mukkine to this point, 
Pearce had not met with any river of importance running 
into the Tacazze, though he had crossed in the neighbour- 
hood of Mukkine many small streams and rivulets. On 
the 9th October he crossed the Tacazze, and entered the 
province of Samen. The river, where he crossed it, was 
three hundred yards broad. As the rainy season was, 
it may be said, over, I cannot help thinking that there is 
some mistake here about the breadth of the river, and that 
vards have been by mistake substituted for feet ; and even 
at this latter breadth, it is plain that some powerful tribu- 
taries must join it from the western side between Mukkine 
and this point, a distance of about fifty miles, and these 


must be still more powerful, if the river is really 900 
feet broad. But this does not at all agree with its breadth 
near Maisada, as given by Mr. Salt, at fifty yards and 
three feet deep,* and still further down by Bruce 200 yards 
in the dry season. 

That the river Arequa, mentioned by Salt, is the bed of 
all the principal rivers crossed by Mr. Krapf between Sara- 
godel and Antalow is plain from this narrative of Pearce 
and the point where he crossed the Tacazze ; and that their 
junction takes place nearly in the places or points as placed 
in the map is obvious, not only from the direction of their 
currents where crossed, but from the testimony of an 
Abyssinian, who travelled from Antalow across the coun- 
try south-west to the country near the abodes of theEdjow 
Gallas. The first river that he came to on the route men- 
tioned was the Zimmera,t a very considerable stream, and 
clearly the Tyana of Krapf. It rises in the province of 
Wogerat, and enters the district of Boura, and then Salowa. 
Passing the village of Sakka, and crossing a mountain, the 
traveller came to a river called Tsalari, most probably the 
river Ghebia of Krapf, and some of its tributaries. Be- 
yond Sokota is Mount Jala, the Sala of Pearce, and which 
the Abyssinian stated was as high as Amba Hai, and with 
the same kind of vegetation on its summit. Beyond Mount 
Jala, or Sala-ferre, is the village and river of Gueralia, a 
tributarv to the Tacazze — then the river Mary, a west side 
tributary. Beyond Lalibela, or Bobbala, is the village of Dan- 
gobat ; and beyond it a considerable river called Cutchinaba, 
running among high mountains and passing several vil- 
lages. Going southerly, the country of the Edjow Gallas 
is reached. The Cutchinaba of the Abyssinian is no doubt 
* Salt, p. 254. t Geographical Bulletin, Paris ILMO. 

(I 2 


the Tchevtz Chico of Krapf, which he states rises near the 
famous pass of that name, on the confines of Lasta and Be- 
gemder, and pm'suing a westerly course joins the Nile, be- 
tween Daunt and Begemder, that is to the south of Alata, 
and is most probably the same river that bears the name of 
the Alata at its junction with the Nile. Bruce, vol. iii. p. 
380, informs us that the Agows of Lasta are called Tchertz 
Agows, probably from living about the pass mentioned ; and 
at vol. v. p. 509, we learn that this pass was on the frontiers 
of Waag, or not far from these, perhaps the eastern pass, as 
there were two of them. One was on the frontier of Lasta.* 
The whole of the countries under immediate considera- 
tion are extremely hilly, but with numerous fertile valleys, 
the province of Enderta being chiefly low and particularly 
fertile. We have thus before us the celebrated river 
Tacazze, the Astobaras of the ancients, with its numerous 
and early tributaries, delineated in a manner it has 
never hitherto been done. Bruce pointedly stated that 
the Tacazze rose 200 miles south-east of Gondar, that 
its main stream came from Angot, and its other branch 
came from the frontiers of Begemder and Lasta, near Dam- 
buco and Lalibala. At the ford where he crossed it to 
the south of Sire, in Latitude 13° 42' 45" north, it was 
in the dry season 200 yards broad and three feet deep. 
We now find its sources to be w'here he had placed them, 
and its early course — that is the course of the western 
branch — Pearce from actual observation tells us that it is 
" northwesterly"t along the base of the Samen range. 
Bruce also stated, and Pearce found this to be the case, that 
the river before receiving the Angot branch the Arequa, 
or Tyana or Zimmera, that it runs between Lasta, Gualieu, 

* Bruce, vol. iv. p. 87. + Salt, p. •184. 


and Belessen. Between Antalow and Chelicut, Salt 
informs us there are two small streams.* The pros- 
pect from Antalow to the south is very fine. In a clear 
day they could see the high mountains Salowa and Boora, 
about twenty miles to the south. Salt states that 
"the river Arequa from the width of its bed and the body 
of water which it brings down," is the largest river be- 
tween the coast and the Tacazze.f It runs through the 
fine country of Avergale, and joins the Tacazze in the dis- 
trict of Temben. Waag is south of Avergale.J 

Nearly the w^hole surface of Abyssinia from north to 
south, and from east to west, is covered with vast moun- 
tains, great ranges and high hills, some of which are of 
very singular forms. From these flow in all directions 
numerous rills, rivulets, streams, and rivers ; many of the 
latter of considerable magnitude, and nearly all of which 
flow to form the Bahar-el-Azreck, or Blue River, or the Nile. 
All the mountains are very high, and several of them 
remarkably so. The peak of Samen, called Amba Hai, is 
calculated to be 14,000 feet above the level of the sea ; 
but as snow lies perpetually on its summit, it must be at 
least 2000 feet higher before the snow can lay perpetually 
in that low latitude 1 .3" from the Equator. Taranta con- 
siderably exceeds 10,000 feet. The mountains in Lasta, 
Angot, and Northern Shoa, where frost, hail, and snow are 
often found, must be of a comparative elevation, and proba- 
bly exceed 12,000 feet. Bruce calculated the height of the 
fountains of the Nile at two miles 10,340 feet, and 
Mount Amid above these half a mile 2,585 feet more ; and 
yet he adds that hail, but no snow, was frequently seen 
on them. In KafFa the mountains rise above the limits of 
* Salt, p. 347. + lb. p. 350. t lb. P- 279, &c. 


snow, and we have the authority of Ptolemy to state, that 
the mountains around the sources of the Bahr-el-Abiad, al- 
most under the Equinoctial, are also covered with snow. 
Abyssinia is altogether a most extraordinary country, and 
has undergone many and extraordinary revolutions. But 
it has been so well described by Bruce, and latterly by 
other travellers, that it is considered unnecessary to go 
into minute details here, except to advert to the mere geo- 
graphical points and positions, which it is necessary to 
bring under review. Toward the north-west, only where 
it approaches the plain of Senaar and the junction of the 
Tacazze with the Nile, can the country he called flat. Where 
the Blue River approaches Fazuclo it bursts through the 
stupendous chain of mountains on either hand as if it was 
issuing through a door. The scenery must be very grand. 
There is one cataract here 280 feet high, and below it two 
others, but of a much less height. From hence to Senaar, 
and indeed to Khartoum, the course of the river is smooth. 
The climate around Fazuclo is most delicious. The present 
Viceroy of Egypt was there in the summer of 1839, and 
he states, that though then considerably above seventy 
years of age, the climate was so enlivening as to bring him 
back to the age of twenty five ! At this place he has built a 
city, and given it his own name ; and there can be no doubt 
that from its position it will soon rise into importance. The 
Shangalla or Negro tribes have encroached greatly on Abys- 
sinnia in the west, north-west, and north, as the Gallas 
have done on the south-west, south, and south-east ; and 
all these tribes have carried ignorance, idleness, desolation, 
violence, misery, and poverty wherever they have come. 

The village and halting-place of Halai on the summit 
of Mount Taranta is, according to Ruppell, situated in 


14" 59' 37" North Latitude, 8093 French feet above the 
level of the sea ; and Takheragera on the frontiers of Waag 
and Salowa in 13" 39' 22" North Latitude. Salt* has a re- 
markable expression, namely, that on the " eastward side of 
the Tacazze in this Latitude rises the lofty province of Sa- 
men," which would indicate that part of Samen is on the 
east side of that river, unless the word " eastward" has 
been substituted for " westward." Samen is a particularly 
mountainous country ; so is Belessen, to the north of which 
is Lamalmon, on the summits of which ice is found, which 
gives this mountain a great elevation. Attagerat, the 
capital of Agame, is 7675 French feet above the level of 
the sea, and Takheragera 5955. The waters between 
Halai and Attagerat, and also a little southward of the latter 
place, run to the Red Sea. The river Geba when Ruppell 
crossed it was twenty feet broad, and on an average two 
feet deep. The bed of the Tacazze he calculated to be 
2812 French feet above the level of the sea. Entschetgab 
he places on 13° 6' 19'' North Latitude and 38° 19' 29" 
East Longitude from Greenwich, and the elevation 9,713 
French feet above the level of the sea. 

Massowa he places in 39" 29' 24" Longitude east of 
Greenwich, and Latitude 15° 36'. Bruce places it on 39" 
36' 30" east longitude and 15° 35' 8", and the position given 
to it by Bruce is probably nearest the truth. There is a 
remarkable discrepancy between Ruppell, Bruce, and Salt 
about the rivers near Adowa and Axum. The former says 
they run from north to south, and the latter two gentle- 
men, who also saw them, state that they run from south 
to north. I have followed Ruppell in placing them in 
the Map. According to Salt, the coast of the Red Sea 

• Salt, p. 490. 


from Rachmah to Ras Hassar lies flat and low, and is 
bounded by higb mountains at no great distance.* The 
Bay of Amphila extends sixteen miles on the coast, and is 
about twelve miles deep. At the bottom of the bay there 
are two villages, Madir and Durora; the latter the largest. 
The range of mountains are about fifteen miles distant. 
These run north-west and south-east, and immediately 
beyond this is a still loftier chain, extending from Senafe 
to Taranta. Senafe properly signifies boundary, and is some 
times written Senaa. The road from Amphila Bay is nearly 
west, and three days' journey brings the traveller to the 
edge of the Salt plain, which runs in a north-east to a 
south-west direction, and is four days' journey in length. 
It takes five hours to cross it at this point, when the travel- 
ler comes to Durwa, the first village within the territory 
of the Ras, Hence passing the village of Dafa, and a 
fine plain, the highest range of mountains is reached, 
called here Senafe, and which is as high as Taranta. The 
journey from Amphila is a journey of nine days. The 
road west from Amphila is supplied with water. 

From Arkeeko to Aylat in a direct line is about twenty 
miles west. Near this place is the source of a river, 
which at some distance west joins the river springing near 
Bisan and Dobarwa, and according to Mr. L'Abadie f forms 
the river A'nsaba, which runs northerly to the Red Sea at 
Taka, two days' journey to the south of Souakem. This 
is a new feature in the geography of this part of Africa, 
and is extremely probable. Burkhardt states that the 
mountains of Langay are considerably elevated ; that he 
found streams and rivulets descending from them to the 

* Salt, p. 140. t Geographical Bulletin, Paris, Sept. 1842. 


eastward and north-eastward ; that the scenery was 
very beautiful, and the cUmate reminded him of that on 
Mount Lebanon. The small district of Taka, three days' 
journey in length, and one day's journey in breadth, 
(other accounts say double) is exceedingly fertile. It is 
greatly and deeply flooded by the Mareb when swollen by 
the rains, and hence its great fertility. The pass of Ta- 
ranta is south by compass from Massowa, when the varia- 
tion was 14° west, and the highest part of the mountain 
is to the south and east of the pass. Dixan is at the 
foot of the mountain on its west side, and only about 
three geographical miles in a direct line from Halai. From 
Halai, Bruce could distinguish the sea to the north- 
east. The descent to the sea is exceedingly precipi- 
tous. From Dixan to Antalow, Salt on his first journey 
was fifteen days. The course was to the eastward of 

Shoa with some adjacent provinces, now under the con- 
trovd of the independent Gallas, formerly formed part of 
the Abyssinian empire, and in the days of the strength and 
extent of that empire, the Sovereigns thereof resided in 
the southern parts, and for a considerable time at Tegulet, 
and other residences in Southern Shoa. But Shoa be- 
came independent of the Sovereigns of Abyssinia sub- 
sequent to the confusion which ensued after the fearful 
desolation spread over that empire by the Mahomedans 
under Mahomed Gragne, and the early irruptions of the 
Gallas, who spread ruin among both. Shoa was also 
considerably straitened in its dominions by these bar- 
barians. Mr. Krapf has pretty accurately defined its 
modern boundaries ; so much so, that with the assistance 
of the ]Map, it is considered unnecessary to enlarge upon 


that subject in this place. The boundaries and extent of 
the provinces of Abyssinia which now belong to it, and 
which are best defined, are as follows : 

Tigre in its greatest extent from Dobarwa southward, is 
about 200 miles from north to south, and 120 miles 
from east to west. Its eastern boundary is the high 
land, which separates the waters which flow east into the 
Red Sea from those which flow west into the Tacazze. 
On the south it is bounded by Angot and Lasta, and on 
the west by part of Begemder, and next by Samen, and 
then by Sire, and on the north by Shangalla and Arab 
tribes. Amhara is 120 miles from east to west, sixty 
miles from north to south, and is bounded on the south 
by Walaka and the Woolla Galla; on the east by Geshen 
or Yeshen, and Lasta ; on the north by Begemder ; and on 
the west by the Nile. Begemder excluding Lasta is 1 20 
miles from east to west, and sixty to seventy miles from 
north to south, bounded east by Lasta and part of Gualieu, 
south by Amhara, west by the Nile and part of Lake 
Dembea, and north by Belessen, and a part of Samen. 
Samen eighty to ninety miles from north to south, and 
about forty to fifty from east to west, is bounded east by 
Lasta, Waag, and Tigre ; north by Tigre and Sire ; 
west by Lamalmon and Belessen, and south by part 
of Lasta and Belessen. Gondar is a province to the north- 
ward, as Dembea is to the westward of Lake Tzana or 
Dembea. Maitsha is a province south of the Lake, ex- 
tending from the Nile on the east, to the Nile on the 
west, and bounded south by Goutto, the province about 
the sources of the Nile, and Gojam more to the east. Gojam 
is bounded bv Maitsha, and Mount Amid Amid on the 
north, by the Nile on the east and the south, and by 


Daraot on the west. It stretches westward on the Nile 
to Hades Amba and near the passage that proceeds 
over the Nile to Gooderoo. Damot is bounded east by 
Gojam, south by the Nile, east by undefined Abysinian 
and Galla territories, and north by Goutto. Bure is its 
capital. In former times Damot extended across the Nile 
to the northern frontier of Enarea, when that province 
formed part of the Abyssinian empire. Westward of 
Dembea, is Kuara, and next to it, and northward, is 
Ras el Feel, the boundaries of either of which to the 
westward and south-east, as well as to the north, 
cannot be accurately defined. 

Gojam and Damot abound in cattle, and were at one 
time well cultivated and productive. The province of 
Lasta, which once formed part of Begemder, is exceed- 
ingly mountainous, and the cold thereon very great ; so 
much so, that most of the army of the Abyssinian King 
FaciUdas, perished when there by its severity, even in the 
month of March, when he went to attack the inhabitants 
who had revolted. He defeated them near Lebo. Beles- 
sen is throughout exceedingly mountainous. Wechne 
is about thirty- five miles from Emfras, and is one of 
the state prisons appointed for the Royal Family. Gafat 
is not a continued country, but a set of scattered villages. 
Wumburna or Umburna is one of them. Senasse is the 
capital of the Gongas, and is situated to the north of the 
Nile ; but the tribe inhabit both banks. In this district, 
in the east, is the passage of the Nile at Mine, (the word 
means passage), on the western route to Enarea, and 
below it is the famous cataract in the Nile, 280 feet high. 
Both are in the country of the Gongas. Below them on 
both sides of the Nile are the Nuba. Amoro is to the 


south of the Nile, called also Amoro Jidda, from a Galla 
tribe of that name. 

But quitting this portion of the countiy, it is necessary, 
in elucidation of the Map and the subject, to turn to the 
south, in order to make a few remarks and observations. 
The cataract of Alata is forty feet high, and at all times, 
more especially during the rainy season, it is a magnificent 
sight. The Nile, in approaching it, runs confined between 
two banks, in a deep trough, roaring over its bed with 
impetuous velocity. When Bruce saw it, the stream 
was increased from the rains, and was then half an Eng- 
lish mile in breadth. The river was nevertheless clear. 
No crocodiles are to be found above the cataract. A 
brisk stream called Mariam Ohha, runs to the Nile, a little 
below the village of Alata. This stream comes from 
Begemder, and is the Tchertz Chico of Krapf, already 
alluded to. A great number of rivers join Lake Dembea, 
from the hilly regions in the east, the north, and the 
west. The Nile itself is a considerable liver before it joins 
the Lake. It has, on both sides, from its sources, down- 
wards, several considerable tributaries, especially the 
Jimma on the east, and the Assar on the west. This 
latter was as large as the Nile, and when Bruce crossed 
it in the dry season, he found it 1 70 yards broad, and 
two feet deep. The country to the southward of the 
sources of the Nile, included in that large circle, which 
the river makes, is, exclusive of the very high mountains 
with which it is covered, very elevated land, and gives 
birth to innumerable springs and rivulets, which in a 
short sjface form considerable rivers. The western passage 
of the Nile to Enarea is at a place called Mine, which in 
fact means passage, and it is the opinion of the writer that 


it is not so far west as it has been represented to be. He 
grounds this opinion on the statement made by Bruce,* 
that it is not far from Hades Amba, which is in Gojam. 
Near this latter place is the passage of the Nile, on the 
route by the east side of Lake Dembea and Basso to Good- 
eroo and Enarea. Both roads to Enarea, but especially 
that from Mine, are mountainous. The distance from Mine 
to Enarea, or the capital Sakka, is fifty leagues, according 
to Bruce, and due south ; the distance, thirteen days 
journey, viz : seven days to Gonea, and six from Gonea 
to the capital. Before reaching Gonea, the traveller crosses 
a very high mountain. The distance here given is checked 
bv the distance given by the Gooderoo route, from repeat- 
ed and quite different authorities, and both agree in a 
surprising manner as to the position of the capital of 

Immediately adjoining the Nile on its south bank is 
the country called Bezamo, inhabited by the Boren and 
the Bestumo Gallas. Formerly the province of Damot ex- 
tended across the Nile southward to the confines of 
Enarea ; but since the conquests by the Galla, Damot is 
now confined to the north bank of the Nile. The pro- 
vince of Enarea proper is on all sides surrounded with 
high mountains, especially to the south and the west ; 
those to the south in Caffa rising above the limits of 
snow. The province is an elevated Plateau, watered by 
many considerable streams, wet and marshy, but fertile, 
especially in coffee of a superior quality. The river Zebee 
runs through it, and is formed by several large branches 
rising to the north-west, particularly the Omo and the 
Gojob. The ridges and hills in this quarter are evidently 

* Brute, vol. v. p. 5-t. 


and generally calcareous, and hence the colour of the 
Zebee from the sands it brings down, and running over 
white calcareous rocks, which makes the water resemble 
melted butter. The population of Enarea and Kaffa are 
generally Christian, but of late years have become intermixed 
with Mahomedans and Pagans. These provinces formed 
the most southern and western provinces of the Abyssinian 
Empire in the days of its greatest strength ; and had, as 
has been stated, an intercourse with the coasts of the At- 
lantic, by means of regular trading stations through the 
interior. KafFa, or CafFa, lies south-west from Enarea, 
and beyond it is Limmou, lately brought to the knowledge 
of the Europeans by a native of it (Bull. Geo. Society, Paris, 
July 1839), who was lately in Paris. In fact, it is stated, 
and perhaps truly stated, that Limmou is only part of 
Enarea in its most extended sense. Be this as it may, 
however, the fact is, that the river Habahia and its early 
tributaries, which rise to the westward of Kaffa, run to 
the southward, and, as we shall see by and by, most proba- 
bly form the parent streams of the Bahr-el-Abiad, al- 
though Ptolemy's account, perhaps, after all, that which 
is most to be relied on, indicates that it is not so. The 
nearest way to Enarea from Gojam is by Gooderoo. 
There is also another route much frequented from Enarea 
to Rogie in Shoa, and thence to Ankobar and AngoUalla. 
The road by Gooderoo takes thirty days to travel at the 
rate of about nine miles per day made good. 

Limmou is wholly peopled by Gallas, who are a brave 
race of men with agreeable countenances. Their arms 
are a corset and crooked sabre, a lance, &c., in the forms 
resembling the representations of those which are found 
in the ancient monuments of Egypt and Nubia. This is 


curious and interesting. To the west and north-west of 
the districts composing Limmou are the Shangalla or Ne- 
groes, quite a different race from the Gallas. It has already 
been stated, that many of the Gallas are of a fair complexion. 
The Geographical Bulletin of Paris, 1840, p. 374, 
states from information lately received concerning them, 
that among them are many whites with agreeable coun- 
tenances ; and that the females are generally pretty. Bruce 
also states,* that nearly under the line and south of Abys- 
sinian and black tribes, all the people are white, as we, says 
he, have had an opportunity of seeing the Gallas daily, whom 
we have described. They are partly Mahomedans, and 
marry according to Mahomedan rites. Their acquaintance 
with Mahomedans probably first proceeded from the shores 
of the Indian Ocean. Native travellers state most pointedly, 
that the river Gibbie or Gebo flows north to the Nile ; that 
it is a large deep stream, full of crocodiles ; that it rises 
in the mountains to the southward of Shoa, or in mountains 
called Abeze Gaye, to the north of Gingiro, and passes 
near Tchallia, two days' journey to the north of the confines 
of Narea or Enarea. Others, however, state that they 
pass it, or a branch of it, in the route from Gooderoo to 
Enarea, according as it has been placed on the ]\lap. 

From a very early period of history, even I believe as 
early as the days of Herodotus, it has been stated, that in 
Africa, to the south of Enarea, and near the equator, there 
is a country inhabited by pigmies, or a diminutive race of 
men. Late accounts received from the east coast of Africa 
assert that such a people have actually been found in nearly 
the position mentioned, and bordering on a river most pro- 
bably the Quillimancy or an early tributary. The Arab wri- 
* Vol. vi. p. 400. 


ters of the twelfth and thirteenth century make mention 
of this race of men, and state that they inhabited a comi- 
try in the part of Africa alluded to, and dwelt by a river 
called the river of Pigmies, which river they assert was 
formed by two rivers which rose on the eastern side of the 
mountains of the moon, (the Bahr-el-abiad, rising on the 
west side of the chain) and after considerable courses be- 
come united in one under the name of the river of the 
pigmies. Though clothed in Arabic and oriental phrase- 
ology, the account when sobered down to geographical 
accuracy, may after all not be far from the truth. Can 
the junction of the Quillimancy with a river rising to 
the south of Andak be the river mentioned, or rather 
alluded to ? 

Every geographer who has written on the east coast of 
Africa, especially the Portuguese, places a large river enter- 
ing the Indian Ocean, near Magadoxo. Abulfeda, an ac- 
curate writer, particularly mentions it, and states that it 
overflowed like the Nile ; and that it had a long course 
rising, according to the Arabian mode of stating such 
things, in the lake Kuara or Dembea, the source of the 
Egyptian Nile. The Bombay Times of July 1842, 
announces, upon the authority of accounts received from 
Captain Harris, the Ambassador at Shoa, that such a river 
does enter the Indian Ocean in latitude two degrees north, 
that it goes by different names, and among others is 
called the Bargama, or Bahar Gama, in which we clearly 
recognize the country of Bahargama, or Bergamo of Bruce 
to the eastward, and southward of Gurague, the sources no 
doubt of the great river mentioned. This river is said to 
be of great magnitude at its mouth, to have a long navi- 
gable course of several hundred miles, and to rise in moun- 


tains to the north of the Line. It goes also by the name 
of Goolob. This is curious and important. 

But not the least important — if it may not in reality be 
stated to be the most important — poi-tion of modern discov- 
eries in Africa remains to be noticed. This is the expedi- 
tion directed by the present enlightened and enterprising 
Viceroy of Egypt, at the close of 1839, to explore the 
course of the Bahr-el-abiad, or White River, long known to 
be the chief branch of the Egyptian Nile. The expedition 
started from Khartoum in December 1839, soon after the 
commencement of the dry season. It consisted of three 
or four sailing barques and some small canoes or passage 
boats, commanded by intelligent officers, and accompanied 
by 400 men from the Garrison of Senaar, They have ex- 
ecuted their commission well. An official abstract of their 
voyage was in the hands of the writer of this Memoir in the 
autumn of 1840, and the whole official journal is now before 
him from the Geographical Bulletin of Paris of July, August, 
and September of last year. It is very curious, very inter- 
ing, and very important. Every day's proceedings are 
noted with care ; the breadth, depth, and current of the 
river ; the temperature and the names of the tribes inhab- 
iting the banks, and the appearance of the country around 
as they proceeded. Their chief object — the exploration of 
the main stream to its utmost point — was steadily and only 
kept in view, and only one affluent, a large stream, was ex- 
plored to a considerable distance. Few other affluents 
were noticed or attended to, and such also might readily 
and easily escape their notice, because they scarcely ever 
went ashore, and when they did so, went but a short dis- 
tance ; and the banks on both sides being covered with 
trees, and these not onlv down to, but sometimes even into 


the stream, covered with thickets and bushes, the entrance 
of affluents, unless of very great magnitude, as in the case 
of the one referred to, might easily escape their notice. 
Throughout the whole voyage, they perceived no mountains 
or ranges in sight on either side, and but very few hills, 
and these disjointed (see Map) and of no great magnitude 
or importance. Numerous lakes and ponds were found on 
both banks as they advanced upwards in the southern 
bearing of the river, the remains no doubt of the inunda- 
tion of the river during the rains. 

The distance that the expedition advanced on the river 
south from Khartoum was, including windings, nearly 1 300 
geographical mile's, after which, in latitude 3° 31' north, 
and in longitude ST east of Greenwich, the river separated 
into two branches ; the one, the smaller, coming from the 
west, and the other, the larger, coming from the east. In 
small canoes a party went up the western branch for a few 
miles, chiefly to ascertain that it continued a separate 
stream, which having done, they returned, finding it inca- 
pable of being navigated in their vessels. Where they left 
it, the stream was about sixty feet broad, nine to twelve 
feet deep, and current one mile per hour. The eastern 
branch they ascended in the barques to the latitude of 3° 
22' north, when the water ebbed to three feet, though the 
breadth was nearly 1 300 feet, and the current half a mile 
per hour. They could not venture to proceed any further, 
and accordingly turned back, and descending the stream 
they again came to the Bahar Seboth or Red River, so 
called from the colour of the water, which they explored 
to a distance of about 145 miles, in a direct line, when 
the water ebbing to only three feet, they were compelled 
to turn back, though the breadth was still about 1 100 feet, 


with a current of half a mile per hour. This river comes 
from a district called Mekj-edah. From this point they 
descended the rivers to Khartoum, which place they again 
reached at the end of 135 days. 

It is necessary to bear in mind that the magnitude of 
the river and its branches here given, was their magnitude 
in the height and at the very close of the dry season. The 
river, to use the words of the commander of the expedi- 
tion, " runs winding (serpente) through the plains of Sou- 
dan." For a considerable distance above Khartoum (150 
miles) the breadth of the river was about one and a half 
mile, the depth from four to five fathoms, and the cm-rent 
about half a knot per hour. The breadth afterward de- 
creased to about half a mile, the depth from twelve to 
eighteen feet, and the current a knot to a knot and a fifth 
per hour. Beyond lake Couir the depth gradually dimin- 
ished, as also the breadth running from one-fifth to half a 
mile, but the current one mile and a half per hour, though 
the dry season was increasing in intensity. Several con- 
siderable islands were found in the river from Khartoum 
upwards to the confines of Shillook, especially one called 
Habah, at the commencement of their territory on the west 
side. The banks of the river from Khartoum upwards to 
nearly lake Couir, were generally low, which will account 
for the overflowing of the river, and its wide extent, as is 
reported during the inundation. Ascending upwards, the 
banks became more elevated ; but still not so much so as to 
prevent them being overflowed, and hence the numbers of 
lakes and ponds on either hand, which were found remain- 
ing, doubtless the remains of the inundation. The banks 
of the Bahar Seboth, or, as it is called in the Shillook lan- 
guage, Bahar Telhj, are however of considerable elevation 


as far as explored, rising, and generally perpendicular, to 
the height of from twenty to thirty feet, which will reach 
above the height of the inundation, and prevent the country 
around from being overflowed. The whole country from 
Khartoum upwards is a table land of very considerable 
elevation, and the view on all sides exceedingly picturesque 
and beautiful. The numerous and considerable tribes which 
were found on the banks are particularly noticed in their 
relative positions on the Map. Of these the Shillooks, the 
Denkhahs, and the Kyks and Nuviers, are the most pow- 
erful and important. Hippopotami and crocodiles were 
numerous in the stream ; and cattle, sheep, goats, and asses, 
were everywhere numerous on either bank. The country 
was studded with fine trees as they ascended, and in proof 
of the elevation of the country above the level of the sea, 
it may be observed, that around the bifurcation the trees 
and foliage were the trees and foliage of an European cli- 
mate ; while to shield themselves from the effects of the 
cold during the night, the inhabitants sleep among warm 
ashes. The bed of the river is throughout sand, and hence 
the colour given to the stream, especially when it is in 
flood, is white and turbid. The gulf or lake Couir must be 
of a considerable size, as they were a day and a half look- 
ing about it without any definite result or description. 
Lower down there is on the west side a chain of lakes 
which, from the description of them, the writer takes to 
be the outlet of the Bahar-el-Nahal, not Nahas. Accord- 
ing to Linant, three rivers enter the Bahr-el-abiad from 
the west, and in the country of the Shillooks. The first is 
the Ned-el-Nile, which passes near by Gebel-el-Deir, or the 
mountain of the round, situated in the country of Taggala 
or Tuclavi. The second is the Bahar-el-Adda, which rises 


to the west of Tubeldie, flows to the south of Sheibon, and 
enters the Nile in about 12'^ north latitude. The third is 
the Baher-el-Nahal, which we recognize as the river coming 
from the country of Dar-el-Nahas, near the copper mines, 
and which is subsequently joined by the Bahar Taisha at 
Tenderne, in the province of Cusne, where palm trees are 
veiy abundant. The Arabs place a river coming from the 
south-west and entering lake Couir or Tume ; but the name 
is not given. The tribe of Bhours, near the bifurcation 
and on the east bank, are of a copper colour ; and in the 
house of their Chief Indian goods were found. To the 
south of the bifurcation they were told that there was a 
veiy high mountain, with an extreme and well-cultivated 
plateau on its summit. The diminished size of the western 
branch clearly indicates that the high land which gives it 
birth is at no great distance. The population on the banks, 
though surprised at the sight of the fleet, as it may be 
called, ofi'ered no resistance the moment the real object of 
the expedition was made known to them. The Kyks, how- 
ever, were warlike and more suspicious, and considering 
that it might form a slave expedition, assembled and 
ofi'ered resistance. A few troops landed, and soon scattered 
them, with the loss of a few killed and wounded ; and after 
this, all was peace and submission. The chiefs of the ex- 
pedition gave out that they were messengers sent from 
heaven, which the simple people believed, and thereafter 
submissively and abundantly supplied all their wants. Their 
various tribes are frequently at war with each other. These 
quarrels generally originate about pasturages and boun- 

It is considered unnecessary to dwell longer on this im- 
portant expedition of discovery, the most important \n a 


geographical point of view that has occurred in modern 
times. To Mahomed Ali the glory of this discovery is 
due, the results of which cannot fail to be highly advan- 
tageous to the human race, especially to the long neglected 
population and country of Africa. But it would be unjust 
to pass over without noticing the names of the commanders 
of this expedition, who have so faithfully and so well obeyed 
the commands and executed the orders of their sovereign. 
These are Captain Selim, the head officer ; Sulieman 
Kachef; Rustam Sacolassy ; Ibrahim EfFendi ; Fez Houl- 
lah ; Hiuss-Bachi ; Abdorem Ragoul, and Assad Allah. 
These men deserve well of their country. They have a 
sovereign who can appreciate their services, and that won- 
derful man is about to send steamers up the river which 
we have described. It was a wonder and an era to see steam- 
ers crossing the Atlantic ; but what will it be to see them 
stemming the waters of the Nile almost to the equator, 
and walking as it were over the mountains of the moon, 
so liberally fixed in this portion of Africa by incredulous 
and " conjectural geographers." * 

An inspection of the Map will show the reader the great 
importance of the discovery, or rather rectification of the 
geography of Africa in these parts, and also show the 
great accuracy with which Ptolemy delineated its general 
features. It is true that he carried the heads of the 
branches of the White River eight degrees too far south ; 

* Another voyage has been performed up the White River in 1841 and 
1842. Two French Gentlemen accompanied this expedition. In their 
notes and map by M. Jomard, they give the remarkable bend of the 
river in nearly the parallel of 9 degrees Latitude. This is not indicated in 
the official account of the first voyage, and their notes are not quite clear 
and explicit on the subject. But nevertheless, though I have some doubts 
on the subject, I have adopted their delineation of this part of the River. 


but in this he was doubtless misled by giving, as others 
have done after him, and yet do, too great a distance to 
days' journeys, and being without any other mode of mea- 
surement or information from the opposite side to check 
the reckoning. But he has preserved the relative distances 
very accurately. Thus he says, the Blue River, or Astapus, 
rises in lake Coloe or Dembea, situated in 69o east longi- 
tude, and under the equator. The western branch of the 
White River, he says, springs from a lake in 57° east lon- 
gitude and 6° south latitude ; and the eastern from another 
lake in east longitude 65°, and in south latitude 7° ; and 
these unite in south latitude 2°, and east longitude 62° the 
(Greek,) or 60° Latin translation ; that is, in the one case 2° 
to the east of the meridian of Alexandria, and in the other 
on that meridian. The reader has only to inspect the Map 
to perceive how accurately all the relative positions as to 
the sources of the two great branches of the Nile, and the 
distances from them and the position of the united stream 
of the Bahr-el-abiad as regards its bearing from Egypt, are 
preserved. Finding this ancient geographer so accu- 
rate in his comparative delineation as to distances, we may 
safely place reliance on his accounts regarding the surface of 
the country around the sources of that river which he con- 
sidered the real Nile. He states, that it is very moun- 
tainous, and that these mountains were covered with 
snow. Bruce in a great measure corroborates this 
when he states that the mountains of KafFa to the south of 
Enarea are covered with snow.* That acute and intelligent 
traveller states most pointedly in his notes, written in Af- 
rica and on the banks of the Bahr-el-abiad, 'that that stream 
"rose in the country to ^/ie^owM of Enarea." The Habahia, 
* Bruce, vol. vii. p. 105. 


the earh' source and course of which we know, runs where 
he states the Bahr-el-abiad rises. An inspection of the 
Map will show that the Habahia may be the source of the 
Nile. The colour of the water being white would serve to 
confirm this opinion, as drawing its supplies from similar 
calcareous ridges ; as the Zebee of a like colour, and from 
the cause mentioned, actually does. It is left to future dis- 
covery and to the geographical reader to decide whether 
Bruce or Ptolemy is most correct ; but hazarding an opinion, 
I would say that both are right, that the Habahia is one 
branch of the Bahr-el-abiad, while Ptolemy considered 
that the branch rising furthest to the south had the un- 
doubted claim to be considered the parent stream. 

The elevation of the bed of the Tacazze, and that of the 
Abawi above the level of the sea, have been given ; the 
former from Ruppell, and the latter from Dr. Beke ;* 
but it would appear that thev are under some mistake, 
Bruce estimated that the sources of the Abawi were 10,340 
feet above the level of the sea ; and if so there are certainly 
neither cataracts nor rapids in the stream of the Abawi 
from its sources to the point where Dr. Beke first crossed it 
to account for 7340 feet, the difi'erence of elevation in the 
comparative short space of 250 miles. Bruce also calcu- 
lated that the plain of Senaar was about 5000 feet above 

* See p. 35. Lake Dembea, or Zana, is 5732 French feet above the 
level of the sea, and Gondar according to Ruppell 1232 French feet above 
the level of the Lake. The diflference of the level of the Abawi near the 
juuction of the Djirama and the Ford of Fiiri is, according to Dr. 
Beke, 100 feet. Considering the elevation of Lake Zana, as given by 
Ruppell, the bed of the Abaw near its junction with the Djimma must be 
higher than Dr. Beke has made it ; while the descent which the Nile has 
from Lake Zana to Senaar (cataracts included) would give an elevation 
to the plain of Senaar to the extent stated bj' Bruce. 


the level of the sea. In this elevation he seems to be 
borne out by all but unerring guides. Though it was the 
hottest period of the year when he was at Senaar, yet he 
felt it cool, even when fully clothed, and could walkabout in 
the sun without inconvenience. This indicates a very con- 
siderable elevation. This is also confirmed by the account 
which Mahoraed Ali gives of the climate of Fazuclo, 
namely, that the air was exceedingly pure and bracing. 
The elevation of Fazuclo above Senaar cannot be much, 
because the Nile between the one place and the other has 
a placid and easy current. The climate also which the 
Egyptian officers found at the bifurcation of the Bahar-el- 
Abiad, coupled with the extreme gentleness of the cur- 
rent of that stream, all indicate a very considerable eleva- 
tion of every part from the junction of the Blue and the 
White Rivers inclusive, upwards or southwards. Browne's 
meteorological observations at Darfur shew us that Cobbe, 
the capital of that country, must be an elevated place ; for 
during the months of January and February, the thermo- 
meter during the day ranged from 50,^ to 60o, and was at 
times as low as 49° in the middle of the day. Bruce was 
also told at Senaar that to the south or south-west of Cobbe, 
snow was to be seen on the mountains. All these facts 
point out that this interior part of eastern Africa must be 
very elevated, and that the Nile to the Mediterranean must 
have a greater descent from Abyssinia than the observations 
of Dr. Ruppell and Dr. Beke would give it. The bed of 
the Tacazze, at the point in Samen where it turns west, is, 
according to Dr. Ruppell, 2812 French feet above the level 
of the sea. From that point to its junction with the Nile, 
200 miles below Khartoum — the latter place 150 below 
Senaar — is about 500 miles, and without either rapids 



cataracts, or any very rapid current. The elevation of the 
Abawi, where Dr. Beke crossed it, is, he states, in round 
numbers 3000 English feet. From that point to Senaar 
is fully 400 miles, in which space the river has at least 400 
feet of cataracts, with a considerable velocity in the current. 
From Senaar to Khartoum is 150 miles, and from Khartoum 
to the junction with the Tacazze about 200 miles more, in 
all 750 miles. From these facts alone, it is clear that either 
Dr. Beke or Dr. Ruppel are wrong in their calculations. 
The difference between them, as applied to the elevation of 
the bed of the Nile, cannot be less than 2500 feet. 

The correction of the geography of the course of the 
Bahr-el-Abiad places before us other results equally im- 
portant. It discloses to our view the course and the 
sources of the great river Zaire or Congo, with something 
like an adequate space for the formation of a river of that 
great magnitude which the Zaire is known to be ; and it en- 
ables us to apply with accuracy the accounts which have 
been received with regard to the country called Donga, and 
the river or rivers of Bahr Kulla, and the Vallis Garaman- 
tica of Ptolemy, which have hitherto been so strangely per- 
vei"ted and attempted to be applied in a manner which 
shewed plainly that the application was incorrect. 

Darfur, or rather the capital thereof, Cobbe, is, accor- 
ding to Browne, in I4o 10' north latitude, and 28° 8' 
east longitude. It is an elevated country. To the south 
it is very fertile, and called Said, like the productive southern 
provinces of Egypt, To the south-west and west the 
country becomes very mountainous ; and from no important 
rivers being found among them, we collect that the ele- 
vation is above the level from whence the springs which 
form rivers usually flow. Beyond Dar Ruma west, however, 


as the country descends to the kingdom of Dar Saley, 
rivers become numerous, and so also to the south and south- 
west in the latter direction, as Donga and Dar Kulla are 
approached. The distance to Donga and Bahr Kulla from 
Cobbe is stated to be from 40 to 60 days' journey, in a 
bearing south-west, or about south-west by south. Donga 
is 20 days' journey, about east- south- east from the southern 
extremity of the empire of Bornou, and ten days' journey 
from Abou Telfain on the southern frontier of the king- 
dom of Dar Saley or Wara. This place is about 120 
miles south- south-west of Abou Shareb, which is again 
five days' journey from Wara. Donga is also stated to 
be thirty days'* (one account. Major Rennells, says forty 
days') journey from Shillook or Shilluck, that is the pas- 
sage of the Bahr-el-abiad, El Aice, at the boundary of the 
Shillook, according as the boundary of that people stood 
about fifty years ago. Dar-el-Nahas at the copper mines 
was twenty-two and a half days' journey south, one quar- 
ter west from Cobbe, exactly as laid down in the Map ; the 
journey made good being estimated at the rate of twelve 
geographical miles per day. These facts considered we 
have the true position of Donga and the sources, not of 
the Bahar-el-Abiad, but of the great river Zaire, or Congo, 
which it thus appears is the river Bahar Kulla running 
south-west. The former country Donga gives us also the 
Vallis Ga7-amantica, or great "dale or valley" so promi- 
nently mentioned by Ptolemy. It must have been a verv re- 
markable valley, or dale, or low country, to make him take 
such prominent notice of it, and here we find it in the very 
position, especially as to latitude, in which he places it. 
Kulla, or KoUa, we now know accurately designates a low 
* Browne, p. 473. 
e 2 


country in contradistinction to high lands, and the river 
Bahar Kulla means only the great river which traverses 
that low country. 

Now let us for a moment attend to the accounts which 
we have of this portion of Africa, as they have been derived 
from two quarters opposite to each other, the north and the 
south, and wholly unconnected. " The country of Dar 
Kulla," says Browne, p. 449, " is for a great part of the year 
wet and marshy, the heat is excessive, and the people 
remark that there is no summer" — that is, no regular dry 
season. This alone indicates its position to be near the 
Equator. Its people are partly negroes, and partly of a 
copper colour. They have many considerable rivers which 
are never dry, and which they cross in canoes, made 
from large trees cut down and hollowed out. * The 
expression " never dry," as stated by Burckhardt, is a 
strong Arabic mode of designating a fertile country 
abounding in water, and having large rivers. The road to 
Donga from Cobbe is, says Browne, p. 473, very mountain- 
ous, and the river in it rises from forty distinct hills ; a 
common African mode of expressing a great number of 
springs and tributaries. It is ten days' journey south from 
Abou Telfain on the frontier of Bergoo, or Dar Saley. Burck- 
hardt received accounts exactly similar. The route to Don- 
ga and Dar Kulla is by the sources of the Misselad, or river 
Gir, found in the very district where Ptolemy had placed it. 

Next to these, let us attend to the accounts which 
on the south side have been glanced at with regard to 
this country. First, all the Portuguese early accounts and 
maps represent the Congo and the chief branch of the 
Nile as flowing from the same districts in Central Africa. 

* Browne, p. 308. 


Secondly, Tackey tells us that the Congo was reported to 
issue in several streams from a large lake of mud, which 
lake was from the distance given nearly under the Equator ; 
in other words, that the Congo came from a country wet 
and marshy, and that it was formed by many streams in 
its early course, for this is the correct account when strip- 
ped of its African phraseology. Thirdly, he met near the 
cataracts, and liberated, a Mandingo man slave, who said 
that he came from a country to the north-east, called 
M'Intola, situated upon a river nearly as large as the Zaire ; 
and that he had been three moons on his journey, travelling 
sometimes bv land and sometimes bv water in comina- 
from it. Mandingo is well known to be round the sources 
of the Niger, and at an immense distance from this portion 
of Africa. The pronunciation of the name of the country 
from which the man came, M'Intola, shews that Tuckev 
mistook the other word, and that it should have been 
pronounced M'Jndonga. In this. Donga is readily recog- 
nised, the road to it, the river that flows in it, and that 
M'Intola is a district in it. Other men told Tuckey that 
they had been to a distance of thirty days' journey north- 
east ; that there the country was very mountainous ; that 
in their road they crossed many rivers, some in canoes, 
and others at fords. Fourthly, and what is more to the 
point, the river began to rise immediately above the cata- 
racts on the first of September. Now about the tenth of 
August the sun would have about 15° north declination, 
or four degrees from the northern limits of Donga, at 
which time the rain would commence to the southward of 
the mountains on the frontier of that country. After ten 
days, and as the sun became vertical about the twenty-fifth 
of August, the streams in the upper and nearly mid- 


die course would be greatly moved ; and from that period 
they would all be flooded deeply, and the water would de- 
scend rapidly to the south. Allowing for the turnings 
and windings of the river, and considering the distance 
which the water had to run from the point, completely sub- 
jected to the inundation, a distance of about 500 miles is 
made out ; and allowing at the rate of fifty-four miles per 
day for the progress of the stream southward, the rise of 
the Congo would just take place on the first of September 
at the point where Tuckey first perceived it. At first the rise 
of the river would necessarily be slow and gradual, but after- 
ward it would be more rapid as Tuckey saw it ; for at tall- 
tree point he found it had in the short space of sixteen days 
risen seven feet, a proof that it did not descend from a lake, 
otherwise the rise could not have been so quick. It would, 
it is considered, be superfluous to say more to establish the 
point. The magnitude of the river where Tuckey turned 
back, 280 miles from its mouth, the breadth of the stream 
from three to four miles, its great depth (many fathoms), and 
a current fully three miles an hour at the very commence- 
ment of the inundation, and the time of the commencement 
of that inundation, establish from invincible data, that the 
Zaire or Congo descends from a high northern latitude, 
and that the rivers in Donga and Dar Kulla must form its 
early stream. 

The reader who wishes further information regarding the 
parts of Africa adjacent to those which have been here 
described and of Africa beyond the limits of the present 
Maps, may consult for that purpose my Geographical Sur- 
vey of Africa, and general map of Africa : the latter pubhsh- 
ed by Mr. Arrowsmith in 1840. 

With a few general remarks, we shall conclude these 


observations. The character of the modern Abyssinians 
appears, frona the accounts which reach us, to be a strange 
compound of meekness and ferocity, devotion and bar- 
barity, such as is rarely to be found among men. Thus 
when engaged in war, they will never fight on the Sab- 
bath, and always have solemn religious service and ordi- 
nances administered by the Priests before beginning a 
battle. They are regular and devout in their private fami- 
lies and devotions. Of this. Salt gives several, but es- 
pecially the following interesting specimen, which took 
place in the house of the Governor of Dixan, on his arrival 
at that place. "At the break of day," says he, "the 
well known sound of the Baharnegash's voice calling his 
familv to praver, excited my attention, when I immediately 
ran and joined his pai'ty. At this moment, the interval 
of four years, which had elapsed since my former visit, 
appeared like a dream. The prayers which he recited 
consisted of the same words, were pronounced in the 
same tone, and were offered up with the same fervour of 
devotion, which I had before so often listened to with 
dehght ; and when the ceremony was concluded, the good 
old man delivered out his orders for the day, with a patri- 
archal simplicity and dignity of manner, that was really 
affecting to contemplate."* All this is very pleasing ; but 
on the other hand, when we consider some of their punish- 
ments, and these exercised upon captive enemies, such 
as mutilating their dead bodies, in a manner that delicacy 
forbids us to describe, and flaying them alive, and then 
stuffing the skins, which operation they call making a 
bottle, we are lost in wonder at the inconsistency and 
debasement of human nature. The Gallas are equally 
* Salt. p. 2.10. 


cruel, and more generally so. In war they massacre 
alike the resisting and the unresisting, young and old, male 
and female, ripping up the latter who are with child, an 
Asiatic custom, which, with other Asiatic customs, would 
lead us to believe that their ancestors came originally from 

Abyssinia must have undergone many, and strange, and 
distressing vicissitudes of fortune. At a very early period 
of history it was a powerful and enlightened empire. 
We find one of its Queens placing herself in power and 
knowledge as an equal to Solomon. It was most cer- 
tainly a Queen of that country which visited Jeru-salem 
during the reign of that Prince. Our Saviour calls her by 
way of eminence, the Queen of the South. He who made 
the world, must know correctly the position of every part 
of it ; and it may be remarked, that the centre of Abyssinia 
is due south from Jerusalem. Subsequent to that period 
the Abyssinians had conquered a great part of Arabia. At 
an early period they were converted to the Christian faith, 
which they have continued to hold ever since, under the 
most trying and disadvantageous circumstances. They 
commanded the Red Sea, and with it the trade between 
Eastern Africa and the East Indies ; with Egypt, Asia 
Minor, and Europe, around the shores of the Mediterra- 
nean. This commerce was chiefly carried on by the port of 
Zeilah, but more especially by the port of Assab, within 
the Straits of Babelmandeb, at which place the ruins of 
large buildings are yet to be found. From this port the 
road into Abyssinia was direct by Manadelli, which Alvaraez 
still found in his day a great rendezvous for merchants 
from the quarters mentioned. On the rise of the Mahom- 
edan power in Arabia, Assab was wrested from Abyssinia, 


and from that period her power began to dechne ; but the 
impenetrable nature of her country rendered her long safe 
from any serious and overwhelming attack from that rest- 
less and fanatic people. How far Christianity penetrat- 
ed into Africa during the height of Abyssinian power, it is 
difficult to say ; but we are certain it was to a great ex- 
tent ; for the remains of it, and that too in considerable 
strength, are to this day found in Enarea, Kaffa, and 
places adjacent. The rise and progress of Mahomedan 
power, while it gradually circumscribed the dominion of 
Abyssinia in the south, the east, and the north, cut her 
off at the same time, during a period of many centuries, 
from the rest of the Christian world. Still, as late as the 
thirteenth century, we find the Christian Kings of Nubia 
contending and negociating with the proudest Mahome- 
dan Sovereigns, till at last they were finally and complete- 
ly overthrown, and Christianity extinguished in Nubia, the 
wretched inhabitants flying south to Abyssinia, and into 
the deepest recesses of the African continent ; in which, 
however, they were not long hidden from their restless 
enemies, who followed, found them out, and conquered 
them. The ruins of Gambarou, on the Yeou, are well 
known to be the remains of a city of considerable impor- 
tance, formerly belonging to Christians, till it was ruined 
and laid desolate by the Fallatah ; and to this day there 
are in Goober the offspring of Copts expatriated from 
Egypt, in order to escape the ferocity and intolerance of 
the early Arabian conquerors. These people are very fair, 
as much so as the ancient Egyptians. 

That the power and name of Abyssinia penetrated dec'i) 
into, and spread widely over Africa, is a fact that cannot be 
doubted. It was known according to the earlv Portuguese 


navigators at Benin, then a powerful kingdom. This fact 
has been denied, but without any just reason, and with- 
out reflecting that the name of Abyssinia is at this day 
known even to Timbuctoo, Sego, and the sources of the 
Niger ; pilgrims from all these places in their route hence 
to Mecca passing by Senaar, and the northern boundary 
of Abyssinia, on their way to Souakim. 

In their wars with the Mahomedans the Abyssinians 
in the decline of their power, like the Romans when in a 
similar state, engaged auxiliaries among their barbarous 
neighbours to aid in these wars. The Abyssinian auxilia- 
ries on this occasion were the Gallas. These soon saw the 
weakness of both the Abyssinian and Mahomedan power 
in the eastern portion of Africa, and made their country- 
men acquainted with it. The consequence was a general 
movement of that people against both. They first attacked 
Abyssinia about the year 1559, immediately after her 
bloody and fatal wars with the Mahomedans under Ma- 
homed Gragne. They bore down all opposition ; swarm 
after swarm was cut off in the fearful and easily defended 
defiles of Abyssinia; but swarm succeeding swarm ad- 
vanced from the interior, and at length finally and firmly 
established themselves in the country, and conquered and 
kept possession of several of the finest provinces of the 
empire, subduing at the same time the Mahomedans' on 
the coasts of the Indian Ocean, or limiting their dominions 
in a few places to narrow slips on the sea coast. These 
tribes of Gallas came from a country in the interior of Af- 
rica, somewhere about the fifth to the tenth degree of south 
latitude, in which part of Africa all early writers agree 
that the population are not negroes, but comparatively fair, 
as we find the genuine Gallas really are. What mighty 


movement of some other savage nation in Africa caused 
the general movement of the Gallas to the north-east, we 
know not ; but as in Asia and in Europe in the early cen- 
turies of the Christian era, so in Africa it was probablv 
the attack of some other whole nation of barbarians on the 
Gallas, that drove these people as a whole and in resistless 
force against the comparatively civilized, indeed we mav 
say, the civilized empire of Abyssinia. 

When the christianized Roman empire became corrupted 
and debased, when they forsook Uhe God which made them, 
and lightly esteemed the Rock of their salvation, the 
weapons of His indignation for severe and just chastise- 
ment were at hand in the barbarous nations around, and in 
the vicinity of that empire. Commissioned by the Al- 
mighty, they were impelled against the Roman, then the 
civilized world, with a fearful and irresistible impetuosity ; 
nation succeeding nation, people more barbarous than a pre- 
ceding people, in the strong metaphorical language of Scrip- 
ture, with the fierceness and violence of a great moun- 
tain burning loith fire cast into the sea, bearing before 
them degradation, misery and desolation, lamentations, and 
mourning, and woe, with general darkness and ignorance 
in their train. But civilization and Christianity had been 
planted and rooted, and could not be eradicated ; the fierce 
conqueror yielded obedience to the laws of the Redeemer, 
and Christianity rose from this scene of ruin brighter and 
stronger than ever. As in Europe, so will it be in Asia 
and in Africa. In the latter country, when Christian Aby- 
sinia had utterly corrupted herself — when she too forsook 
the God that made her, and lightly esteemed the Rock of 
her salvation, then the weapons of His indignation in the 
nation of the barbarous Gallas were at hand to punish and 


to chastise her. They were impelled against the corrupted 
empire with fearful and irresistible force, and there is only 
wanting the pen of the continuous and accurate historian 
to delineate to us fully the havoc and ruin, the deplorable 
scenes of misery and ruin, lamentations , and mourning, and 
woe, which the march and the conquests of these barba- 
rians brought upon the Abyssinian empire. But as in 
Europe so in Abyssinia, Christianity with civilization hav- 
ing been planted could not be eradicated. The former still 
rears its head ; many of its conquerors ; bent their necks 
and their minds to its sway and its precepts ; and as their 
power, and also the power of the early and fanatic Mahom- 
edan, is completely broken and exhausted in this portion 
of Africa, so Christianity and civilization will yet rear their 
heads and flourish, and spread in triumph over a wider 
range than ever they had before done in Africa, and until 
the name and the praise of the Redeemer are heard in 
every country, on every mountain, in every valley, and 
by every stream in Africa — the Nile and the Niger, the 
Zaire and the Zambezi, being made as well acquainted with 
the name of the true God and the Saviour, as the banks of 
the Jordan, the Thames, the Rhine, the Danube, and the Po. 
The moment to commence and to accelerate this great 
work as regards Africa is the present hour. Every thing 
is auspicious and encouraging to undertake and to go on 
with the work. The strength and power and energy of 
both Mahomedanism and Paganism in Africa, especially 
in those parts of it more immediately under consideration, 
are broken and exhausted, and can no longer venture, even 
if they had the will, as formerly, to trample upon Christian 
power or Christian messengers. The road is comparatively 
open, and the field is comparatively clear ; the cause is 


noble, the prize to be obtained honourable and great. The 
best interests of the human race, to a very great extent, is 
dependent upon African improvement and civiHzation. 
The interests of Great Britain in a more especial manner, 
both commercial, colonial, and political, are interwoven 
with, and dependent upon, the improvement and prosperity 
of Africa, to an extent, in fact, almost incredible, and such 
as few can believe who have not deeply considered the mat- 
ter, but which it is impossible to enter upon here. Look 
what the present Viceroy of Egypt has done ! When 
threatened by all Europe in 1839, and when they were 
about to put their threats into execution, he, on the plains 
of Fazuclo ordered that expedition, the surprising results 
of which have been previously considered, and while he 
was contending against all Europe, the officers to which he 
had intrusted the execution of the work, went and accom- 
plished the noble object, the exploration of by far the 
greater portion of the long-hidden Bahr-el-abiad. On the 
plains of Fazuclo also he erected a city, named after himself, 
and which will rapidly rise into importance. Khartoum, 
which only a few years ago was composed of a few miser- 
able straw huts, is now a considerable city, well laid out, and 
supplied and inhabited by different races of men, among 
whom are many Christians. When Mahomed was there 
in July 1839, these Christians came to solicit him to give 
them a piece of ground on which they might erect a church. 
"You shall not only have the ground you want," said Maho- 
med, " but I will assist you with the funds you may require 
to build and to complete it." This is noble — this opens up 
the dawn of a bright day to Africa, if judiciously attended 
to, and pcrseveringly looked after. But this is not all. When 
at Fazuclo he put an end to the Slave Trade in all his do- 


minions in that quarter of Africa, and counselled and ad- 
vised the native princes around his provinces to do the 
same, and to turn their attention to cultivate the soil, and 
sell its products instead of selling men. They listened to 
his counsels with attention, and promised that they would 
follow them out ; and he is a man who will not forget to 
make them keep their word. 

What Mahomed Ali has done and does, cannot Eng- 
land also perform ? Most assuredly she can, if she will ; and it 
is as much her interest as it is the interest of Mahomed 
Ali, not only to see Africa improved and cultivated and 
civilized, but further, that she should have a most active 
and immediate hand in the work. A few more men with 
the energy and judgment of Mahomed Ali, and a few more 
judicious, patient, and humble and pious Christian teach- 
ers like Messrs. Isenberg and Krapf in Africa, would 
do more to civilize, enlighten, Christianize, and improve 
her, than navies stationed round her coasts, or rude com- 
merce, such as the palm oil trade, could do in thousands of 
years. Can England not find such, and also the means to 
assist and to support them ? * 

* The French have lately purchased two stations in the Bay of Am- 
phila, at Ayth or Edd, and another place. The British in 1840, ob- 
tained a settlement on two of the islands in the Bay of Tajoura. Both 
nations, it wo'old thus appear, are directing their ^•iews to Ab«sinia. 


After the preceding pages were written and in the hands 
of the printer, further accounts were received from Dr. 
Beke. He was at Yaush on the 25th of November, 1842. 
He had explored the whole provinces of Gojam and the 
countiy to the neighbourhood of the cataract of Alata, and 
also the provinces of Damot and Agowmedre and places 
around the sources of the Blue Nile. The province of Gojam 
is a pastoral country, consisting of elevated plains and very 
high mountains, without trees; and intersected bv numerous 
small streams. The ridges of mountains to the east and 
the south-east of Geesh rise into the regions of frost and 
snow. On the 4th of June a very violent storm of hail 
was felt at Amwatta. The hailstones were very large. 
Several people and many cattle were killed by them. The 
hail lay on the ground for three days before it was melted 
by the heat of the sun, a proof that the country is greatly 
elevated. Damot is both a pastoral and an agricultural 
country, with extensive forests and numerous small rivers. 
Agowmedre to the westward, south-west, and north-west 
of the sources of the Nile, is very mountainous, the hills 
generally volcanic, but the soil in many places fertile. 
The Abawi, or Blue Nile, at the ford of Furi is from seventy 
to eighty yards broad, five feet deep, and the current from 
two to three miles per hour. Dr. Beke pointedly states 


that the people dweUing to the south-west of KafFa trade 
with the west coast of Africa, and that one of their arti- 
cles of commerce is salt. His journeys confirm in the 
most striking manner the accuracy of the accounts which 
Bruce had obtained regarding the countries and rivers to 
the south, to the east, and to the west of the sources of 
the Nile. Indeed without the assistance of the notes and 
information given and obtained by Bruce, Dr. Beke's last 
journey through northern Damot and Agowmedre could 
not have been laid down in the accompanying Maps. At 
the capital of Mettakel the Shangallas who came to attend 
it had never before seen a white man. Dr. Beke was con- 
sequently an object of great curiosity. 

The whole country westward from the meridian of Gon- 
dar to the Blue Nile has been delineated from a careful 
perusal of Poncet's travels in Abyssinia, but especially 
from a careful examination of the last edition of Bruce's 
work, and the notes taken by that traveller when on the 
spot, and inserted by his editor in different parts of the 
different volumes. These important notes have, it would 
appear, been hitherto wholly overlooked. Hence the 
errors which have crept into the geography of this portion 
of Africa. His account of the country between the 
Tacazze and Gondar is fully as correct as RuppeU's, and 
his account of the rivers near Gondar is much more clear 
and satisfactory. He also states most pointedly the fol- 
lowing curious and important point ; namely, that the 
Angrab, which passes round Gondar, runs first through the 
low country of Dembea, and then northward to the Ta- 
cazze, and the more I consider the subject the more I am 
inclined to consider this account to be correct. Ruppel's 
silence does not invalidate the account ; for in that direction 


he was only as far as Azzazo, and does not say one word 
about any rivers at or near that place. The account which 
Bruce gives is contained in the narrative of his journey 
from Gondar to the sources of the Nile. Before coming 
to Azzazo, about seven miles from Gondar, he states that 
he passed first the small river Shimfa, and next the Dum- 
aza, larger than the other, and on the banks of which latter 
stream Azzazo is situated. " The Dumaza," says he, " is 
a very clear and limpid stream running briskly over a small 
bed of pebbles : both this river and the Shimfa come from 
Woggora in the north-west ; they pass the hill of Koscam 
called Debra Tzai (mountain of the sun), join below Azzazo, 
and traversing the flat country of Dambea they meet the 
Angrab, which passes by Gondar, and with it fall into the 
Tacazze or Atbara."* 

Bruce most pointedly and repeatedly states in the notes 
alluded to, that the Bahr-el-abiad had no great western 
branch ; that it required none, but that the parent stream 
took its rise to the south of Enarea. 

For the account of the river which passes by Kachina- 
ara and joins the Chadda, the writer of this is indebted to 
Captain W. Cook, one of the Commissioners who accom- 
panied the late Niger Expedition. The account he received 
was from an African Mallam or Priest. I cannot however 
refrain from expressing my opinion that the Mallam has re- 
versed the position of this river Fo Kakchi, and that the fact 
is the river comes from Mount Thala, a ptirt of the Man- 
dara range, and flows into the Chadda on the north side 
instead of the south side. Still the Mallam may be correct. 

The point which Captain Beecroft reached in the chief 
branch of the Formosa, in Mr. Jamieson's vessel the 
* Bruce, vol. v. p. 239. 


Ethiope Steamer in 1840, is distinctly marked in the Map. 
At this point Captain Beecroft calculated that he was only 
about twenty miles from Aboh or Eboe ; and where he 
turned back the stream was fifty yards broad, five fathoms 
deep, and the current upwards of three knots per hour, 
and this toward the close of the dry season. The banks 
of the river were perfectly level, and covered with long 
grass or reeds. No high land could be seen in any direc- 
tion. The other branch of the Formosa, which joins 
more to the westward, also had a strong current and four 
fathoms water at the extreme point reached. The War- 
ree branch had never less than five fathoms water, and 
this at the close of the dry season. The banks of this 
branch were high, dry, cultivated, and populous. Captain 
Cook saw the branch which runs off to the westward about 
twenty-five miles above Aboh. It was about 1000 yards 
broad, and across the stream eight to ten fathoms deep, 
with a small island in the middle. This was the state of 
this branch in the flood. It appeared to be as large as the 
branch running south, or the Nun. 

Interesting accounts have just been received from two 
Missionaries, one belonging to the Church Missionary So- 
ciety, and the other to the Wesleyan Society. These men 
had been invited by the Chiefs ruling the country to the 
north-east of Badagry and to the north of Benin to visit 
them. They had penetrated about ninety miles into the 
country in the direction of north-east from Badagry, and 
were well received. The capital of one state at the dis- 
tance mentioned contains about 40,000 inhabitants. The 
country is described as populous, exceedingly fine and fertile, 
and very healthy. 

This capital is named Abbekuta, governed by a Chief 


named Sodeke. The population consists of the Egba 
tribe of the Akus united. Abbekuta is nine days' journey 
from the Niger, and situated on a river named Ogu, which 
joins the river of Lagos, to which latter place it is navigable 
in canoes during the rains. The capital appears to be on 
the east side of the river, here of considerable breadth, but 
very shallow early in the dry season. The town is situated 
upon a hill, from which the view is very fine, and the river 
runs through a fine valley, with hills on either hand. The 
bottom of the river is sandy and rocky, and no miasma 
around its banks. To the eastward are two large towns, 
called Jai and Abada; and at seven days' journey distant, 
is Illome in the Eyo country, and two days' journey from 
the Niger. Abbekuta seems to be a great thoroughfare for 
the people of Huassa on their way to the coast, and all 
travellers are here treated kindly. Sodeke expressed the 
greatest anxiety for Missionaries to come and reside with 
them, promising them every support and protection. The 
streets of Abbekuta are narrow and irregular. Soon after 
leaving the coast, the country began to ascend and hills to 
make their appearance. The time occupied in travelling 
from Badagry to Abbekuta at a brisk rate was about thirty 
hours. The necessaries of life are abundant in the capital. 
Horses, sheep, goats, cows, fowls, and pigeons are in 
great abundance. The people manufacture leather of va- 
rious kinds and articles of leather, saddles, shoes, slippers, 
and cushions ; and of iron they manufacture bits for their 
horses, stirrup irons, clasp knives, hoes, and bill-hooks in 
imitation of English. About half way between Badagry 
and Abbekuta, a considerable town, named Adu, lay one 
day's journey distant from the road, eastward it is supposed ; 
and by this town a river called Adu (the Doo probably of 


our maps and the same as the Ogu) ran to the Lagos. Jaboo 
seems to be to the east or to the south-east of Abbekuta. 

A very interesting letter from a Medical Gentleman who 
has lately visited the Gaboon River has just come into the 
hands of the writer of this Memoir. He gives a very fa- 
vourable account of the disposition of the people, and the 
very considerable advance which they have made in civili- 
zation. Their houses are neat and comfortable, and their 
towns laid out in regular streets. They treat their women 
with kindness and equality, and sit and eat, and converse 
with them at the same table. They are fond of English 
customs and dress, and carry on considerable traffic with 
English and French vessels. In old Calabar a great deal 
of business is also carried on. The Chief has about 200 
large canoes engaged in the palm-oil trade and other des- 
criptions of traffic with the interior parts. He is also deter- 
mined to set his people to cultivate the soil, and calls for 
people to instruct them. The English Language is gene- 
rally and fluently spoken in this quarter, and their accounts 
kept in it. 

In reference to the matter stated in page 64 about a 
river entering the sea in north latitude two degrees on the 
east coast of Africa, as reported by Captain Harris, and 
published in the Bombay Times, it is necessary to observe 
that Abulfeda states* that the river named after the town 
enters the sea " near Makdishu," or Magadoxo. His 
words are : f " It has a large river like the Nile of Egypt, 
which swells in the summer season. It is said to be a 
branch of the Nile which issues from Lake Kaura (Zana) 
and runs into the Indian Sea near Makdishu." The Arabic 

♦See Macqueen's Geographical Survey of Africa, 1840. p. 246. 
t See Lee's Batouta, p. 55. 


expression branch of the Nile, is now well understood only 
to mean that the river rises in the same district of Africa 
that gives birth to the Blue River, or the Abawi. All the 
early Portuguese navigators and maps acknowledge and 
insert this river, and mention the same particulars con- 
cerning it. In a Map of Africa constructed by J. Senex, 
from the observations of the Royal Societies of London 
and Paris, and dedicated to Sir Isaac Newton, and com- 
piled, as regards these parts of Africa, from the Portu- 
guese materials, we find this river laid down roughly, but 
by no means very inaccurately, its source near Gumar, 
which place is to the south-east of Bargamo, and its mouth 
a little to the north of Magadoxo, exactly in two degrees 
north latitude. A few months ago Messrs. Krapf and 
Isenberg wrote the Society from Zeilah that the large 
river called Wabhe or Webbe ran to the south of Hurrur 
southward to the sea at Magadoxo, and that there was a 
caravan route from Zeilah to that place which occupied a 
journey of two months. Batouta mentions this caravan 
route, and gives the same time and distance from Zeilah to 
Magadoxo. Bruce lays down this river as the Webbe. 
Salt, in the valuable chart of the east coast of Africa and 
map inserted in his last voyage, quarto, page 13, in 
1814, lays down this river under the name of the Webbe 
and all its early branches very fairly. One descends from 
the east of the Aroosee Galla, and another, the longest, 
from the country east of the sources of the Magar and 
south of Gurague, exactly as I hnd I have placed them in 
the Map from accounts obtained by Mr. Krapf, and also the 
accounts which Captain Harris had received from him 
when at Ankobar, and inserted in the last number of the 
Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. Salt brings 


the river to the sea a little to the south of Magadoxo, in 
which he is probably correct. Captain Cook, who was at 
Magadoxo and close upon the coast to a distance of six- 
teen miles to the north of the place, informs me that he 
could see no river entering the sea within that space ; but 
he added that he was informed a large river ran to the 
westward a short distance to the north of Brava. If this 
account is correct, the river in question may enter the sea 
between the Juba and Brava. The late Mr. Arrowsmith 
in his Map of Africa has a river near and to the south of 
Magadoxo ; the river of Juba, and also a river at Doaro. 
There seems to be a river and a province called Doaro in 
the south, and that this province has been confounded with 
Dowarro on the north. 

Of the well-known existence, therefore, of a large river 
near Magodoxo, and its course from the north, there can be 
no doubt. While correcting these pages for the press, a 
letter has been received from Captain Haines at Aden, 
dated June 2nd, giving some important and specific infor- 
mation regarding the magnitude of a river in this quarter. 
In consequence of the information which he had received 
from Captain Harris he sent Lieutenant Christopher of the 
Indian Navy to seek for and to examine it. This officer 
found and went up the river 130 miles, and found it 
throughout this distance from 200 to 300 feet broad, and 
from sixteen to sixty feet deep, a clear meandering stream. 
The country around its banks was very fine, beautiful, and 
pretty weU cultivated, and the population intelligent, 
friendly, and civil. They stated that the stream was navi- 
gable upwards to a great distance, and that both it and the 
Juba joined the Gojob ; in other words, that the sources 
of the parent stream of both rivers came from the same por- 


tion of Africa to the north ; for this mode of joining and se- 
parating rivers is a very common mode of Africans, but 
especially Arabs, stating such matters. The letter from 
Captain Haines gives no name to the river, nor does he 
state the exact place in latitude where it enters the sea, 
but merely that it does so to the north of the Juba, which 
latter is very nearly under the equinoctial line. 

As but few points in the interior of Africa have been 
fixed by correct astronomical observations, it is to be dis- 
tinctly understood that the accompanying Maps have gene- 
rally been constructed on the data afforded by days' journeys ; 
and that several rivers, especially the middle portions of 
some of these, have been drawn in the supposed general bear- 
ings of the great valleys through which these must flow. 


July 31, 1843. 


&c. &c. 




April 2, 1839, Zeila. — Our sojourn in this place, 1 
hope, is now over. If it please God, we shall set sail 
to-morrow in our small boat, and proceed onward to 
Tadjurra. Hitherto the Lord has helped us. The 
Governor here has treated us kindly. The first cvcn- 



ing of our visit, he sent us a present of a sheep ; and 
this morning, a buck. He offered us also two houses; 
one as a dwelling, and the other for a store house. 
Besides this, he gave us a letter of introduction to the 
Governor of Tadjurra, and tendered every other assis- 
tance we might need. In return for this he only re- 
quired, that we should give him written recommenda- 
tions to Captain Haines, Hassan Effendi, and to all 
English travellers and captains of vessels. These we 
wrote for him ; and on delivering them, apologized for 
not being able to offer him an adequate present. How- 
ever, he then asked for something, observing that his 
object was not gain : that he did not want anything of 
much value, but requested it only that he might be re- 
spected by his people. We examined our baggage, and 
finding a good caftan belonging to the Rev. J. L. 
Krapf, a silk handkerchief and a box of lucifers, we 
gave them to him. He looked with indifference at 
these presents, and repeated that he did not care about 
having these things, but only for our friendship ; and 
that he preferred good recommendations to presents. 
Thus far he appeared to understand his interest. We 
are very anxious to know what will be the consequences 
of this visit. From what we have seen, we think we 
may conclude that the time is not far distant, when 
this place will be accessible to every European, and an 
entrance be open from hence to Shoa and to the in- 
terior of Africa. 

Zeila is an old town, and was formerly of greater 


importance ; but at present it is, for the most part, in 
rnins. It is surrounded by walls, and has, on the 
land side, seven pieces of ordnance, pointed towards 
the Somals ; with whom the town has continual inter- 
course. It appears, however, that they are not on good 
terms ; as every mission into the country for a supply 
of water, is escorted by a party of soldiers. The town 
consists of about a hundred straw-huts, and eight 
stone houses. We are not able to ascertain the precise 
number of inhabitants, or of houses; but suppose the town 
may contain a mixed population of eight hundred souls; 
the greater part of whom are Somals, with some Dana- 
kils and Arabs. The language of the Somals appears to 
have some affinity to that of the Gallas ; w'hile that of 
the Danakils is the same as that of the Shohos, with a 
little dialectic difference : the nation is the same. Some 
understand and speak the Amharic also. Considerable 
intercourse is kept up with Horror. Several small 
vessels have just returned from Berbera. The market, 
w^hich is held in that place, and is the only cause of 
such a concourse of people frequenting it, is now 
closed, on account of the approaching rains. It appears 
that the bad quality of the water is a principal reason 
why no houses or fixed habitations have been erected 
there. I was led to this conjecture by the arrival of a 
small boat this evening, belonging to Shermarke, a 
Somal Chief of that country, and a friend of the Eng- 
lish, which had come to fetch water. On asking why 
they came for water, they said that the water of Ber- 
B 2 


bera was so brackish^ that it could hardly be used for 

. On our arrival here, a great crowd of people, chiefly 
children, gathered about us : the good reception, how- 
ever, wliich we met with from the Governor, kept them 
in order. On the following morning, about fifty armed 
soldiers accompanied us ; and whenever we were in 
town, a soldier usually preceded us, in order to prevent 
our being annoyed, until at length the people seemed 
to have lost their curiosity to see us. During our stay, 
however, we resided on board the vessel. There were 
eight boats in the harbour, two of which belonged to 
the brother-in-law of Sheik Taib, in Aden. The 
Hais of one of these boats had seen us last year in 
Massowah, on our return from Abyssinia. This harbour 
is very bad, there being sand banks near. 

Since last Lord's Day, a brig has been observed off the 
port ; but it could not be ascertained to what nation it 
belonged : she seemed as though she wanted to make the 
harbour, but could not. Yesterday evening, three guns 
were heard from the island of Saad-ed-deen ; in conse- 
quence of which, the Governor despatched a boat thither 
to-day, in order to look out for the vessel, and bring her 
in. In the afternoon the boat returned : they had seen 
the brig in the direction of Tadjurra ; but were unable 
to reach her, or learn any particulars. 

The Governor of this place is a man not quite thirty 
years old, with an intelligent, serious, and grave air and 
demeanor; of a middling stature and slender make. 


The Somals have a singular taste for red hair. This 
is considered an ornament of which they are prond ; 
and to produce it they use certain means by which 
they dye black hair red. The natui'e of their hair seems 
to be the same as that of the Abyssinian s : it is curled 
artificially. They also besmear it with butter^ but do 
not plait it ; at least we have not yet seen any plaited 

The costume of the natives of Zeila^ and the Somals, 
is nearly the same as that of the Abyssinians ; except 
that trowsers are not universally worn. The females 
go chiefly unveiled, having only a cloth, generally blue, 
tied round their heads. The dress of the women is to- 
tally different from the Abyssinians and Arabs. 

The food of the inhabitants of Zeila seems to con- 
sist chiefly of maize, dates, and milk, particularly camels^: 
flesh is also eaten by those who can aff^ord it. Rice is 
imported from India, and coffee from Horror ; both of 
which are dear here. 

The traffic of this place, as in Abysinnia, is conducted 
chiefly by barter. Cloths are purchased with money ; 
these are exchanged for corn ; and in lieu of corn any 
thing may be procured. The Indian cloth, in which 
they trade, is of three kinds. The best is Kash : of this 
we obtained seventeen Zeila yards, about equal to a 
Brabant yard, for a dollar. An inferior kind is called 
Ilurmia : it is made of cotton, but appears to be 
stronger than that manufactured in Abyssinia. 

jlpril 3, 1839. — Late yesterday evening I sent the 
B 3 


Governor the above-mentioned recommendations. About 
half an hour afterward^ and before he had received 
them, a messenger arrived from him, asking for them, 
and bringing back the presents which we had given 
him, except the lucifer matches ; wdth the remark, that 
such caftans wxre not worn in this country : that he 
would have been glad if we could have given him some- 
thing which might have shown our respect tov/ard him 
before the people ; but that if w^e had nothing, it 
would make no difference — he would nevertheless serve 
us in every thing. The messenger at the same time 
hinted that a present of about 100 dollars would have 
been agreeable to the Governor. AVe sent him word, 
that we felt sorry at not being able to recompense his 
kindness by something that might please him ; that 
the object of our journey did not lead us to think of 
presents, what we had being just sufficient for the 
indispensable wants of our journey, and that w^hat we 
offered him was all we could spare : moreover, that he 
ought not to estimate our friendship by any present, 
although we intended in future to remember him in 
some more positive manner : meanwhile we thanked 
him for the friendship shown to us, and commended 
ourselves afresh to his kindness. The messenger pro- 
mised to deliver our answei", and we gave him a dollar 
in remuneration. He then begged the present returned 
by the Governor, for himself and his children ; but we 
refused, saying, that as the Governor did not like it, 
it would serve very well for our own use. 


The Governor also informed us, that a boat which 
had arrived this evening from Berbera had brought 
the news, that Shermarke was on board the brig 
which had been seen yesterday, and that he had gone 
to Tadjurra. 

About ten o^clock this morning we got under weigh 
with three other boats, which also go to Tadjurra : — 
wind blo^nng north-east. 

I asked some of our crew, who are Somals, whe- 
ther their hair was naturally red : they answered in 
the negative. On enquiring how they dyed it, they 
said, that they besmeared it first with wet lime, after- 
Avard with butter, then with mud ; and that when the 
hair began to redden, they applied to it the juice of a 
plant. The captain said, that they moistened the lime 
with the urine of camels ; but the pilot denied it with 
horror, saying, that the Bedouins only did so, who do 
not pray. 

Evening. As the wind was from the north-east, we 
could not get out into the open sea, but made our way 
between the small islands along the coast. It was as 
pleasant as sailing on the Nile. We passed the Sheikas 
Islands, and the Island of Hagila; and all the four 
boats came to anchor near the small island of Assuba. 
As it was early, we went on shore to gather shells, of 
which there was a great variety. 

Jpril 4, 1839. — We arrived at Tadjurra at half past 
two o'clock this afternoon, and went directly to the so- 
called Sultan, whom we found sitting in the shade be- 


fore his house, leaning against the wall, with some of 
his attendants near him on either side. He is an old 
man of about sixty years of age. He saluted us with 
gestures ; and we delivered our letter of introduction 
from the Governor of Zeila, which he received in 
silence. We sat a little while, and then he made us a 
signal to retire ; on which we accompanied ovir guide, 
Mahomed Ali, to a house which he showed us as our 
dwelling, constructed of sprigs covered inside and out- 
side with mats, and divided into four apartments, like 
the houses in Arkeeko. As our baggage was yet in 
the boat, we had to go on board again, to get it on 
shore. In the harbour we saw the above mentioned 
brig. It was a merchantman, called the " Euphrasia," 
Capt, Blondeau, a Frenchman, from Mauritius, with 
whom we met Lieut. Tilley, an Englishman. On 
reaching our boat, the Captain came up to us. We 
saluted each other ; and he then sent a boat to take us 
to his vessel, where we passed the night. 

Jpril 5, 1839. — This morning we removed our bag- 
gage from the boat to our temporary dwelling. We 
should have been glad to have arranged matters for our 
journey ; but the Captain and Shermarke obliged us, 
against our will, to settle a quarrel between them, which 
took up the greater part of the day. 

April 6 — By the brig " Euphrasia," which left 
early this morning, we despatched letters for Cairo and 
Europe. Tadjurra is a far more miserable town than 
Zeila. Its geographical situation is wrongly marked 


on the maps : it is at a much greater distance from 
Zeila, and, as we were informed on board the ''Eu])hra- 
sia/^ its northern latitude is 11° 58'. 

The houses are all made of sprigs : there are about 
iifty connected yards in the place, each of which in- 
closes several sprig hovels. The inhabitants are Dana- 
kils : their sovereign is called Sultan, or Dardar 
Mahomed. He appears to be a good-natured man, but 
of limited acquirement ; as he does not seem to know 
how to read Arabic, neither does he speak it fluently. 

The people here have seen but very few Europeans 
among them ; hence we are the objects of their gi'cat- 
est curiosity. This, indeed, was the case also at Zeila ; 
but there we stopped on board the ship, whereas here 
we live among them, and are consequently much more 
exposed to their gaze. 

The so-called Sultan, who, on our first interview with 
him, put on so grave an air, called on us to-day, to 
ask for a present : however, his subject, IMahomed Ali, 
put him to silence. 

April 8 — Yesterday was a day of trial to us. In 
the afternoon, the Sultan came witli his Vizier and 
Cadi, to make an agreement with us about the camels 
and mules for our journey. If the Sultan looks rather 
diminutive, the Vizier's bodily circumference on the 
contrary, is well suited to his title. "While these gentle- 
men were seated with him, the Sultan sent for the 
Letter from the Governor of Zeila. The messenger, on 
his return, threw the Letter at the feet of his master : it 


was then picked up^ and the Sultan stuck it into his 
turban. By this ceremony he wished to display his 
kingly dignity. A long dispute now ensued about the 
hire of mules and camels. They asked twenty dollars 
hire for every mulc^ and would not consent to any re- 
duction. For every camel they demanded, at first, 
twenty-six dollars ; and when we referred to the order 
of the Governor of Zeila, that we should have the ani- 
mals at the usual caravan price, they said that the 
caravan price for a camel was a female slave. On closer 
inquiry, we learned that the caravans generally have 
camels of their own. Only in one instance, when the 
King of Shoa had ordered some small cannon, he paid 
a female slave for every camel. This gave us an oppor- 
tunity to protest against tbe slave-trade ; saying, that 
we could in no wise engage in such traffic. They then 
fixed the price of each at twenty-three dollars. At 
length we determined to purchase two mules, and to 
hire only as many camels as were requisite to carry our 
most indispensable baggage, and to let our attendants 
ride on the same. After these people had left us, we 
consulted together ; but were at a loss what to do, as 
our pecuniary means were so sadly reduced. Finally, 
we deliberated whether one of us had not better pro- 
ceed to Aden, and draw money there. We had, indeed, 
written to Captain Haines, and to Bombay, for 400 
dollars : but it might be some time before this could 
reach us. This plan, however, was also objectionable 
in many respects. It is the Lord^s will that we 


here suffer tribulation, that we may draw nearer to 

To-day, after supper, the Sultan called on us, begging 
some medicine for a sick woman. He was more fami- 
liar than usual. When we asked how old he was, he 
replied, " Between thirty and forty." He was ignorant 
of his own age, but said that he was a boy, and un- 
married, when he became Sultan. His silvery beard, 
however, shows that he cannot be far from sixty. On 
this occasion we also learned, that the dignity of the 
Sultan and Vizier is hereditary in this country, and is 
divided between the two families; so that after the de- 
cease of the Sultan, his Vizier succeeds him, and the 
son of the Sultan succeeds the Vizier. 

Our Rais, iNIahomed Kassem, took leave of us to- 
day. I gave him Letters for Cairo, which he is to for- 
ward by way of Zeila. 

April 9, 1839.— At one o'clock p.m. the thermo- 
meter was at 93° in the shade. 

April 10— We wrote several Letters last night. 
Collected to-day some Dankali words : closed the col- 
lection of Amharic words from Exodus, and began with 
Leviticus. We gave some oil of turpentine yesterday, 
with good effect, to a wife of the Sultan, as a remedy 
against hysterics. 

Xpril 16 — We have been detained till this day by 
the illness of INIahomed Ali, our guide. Wrote Letters 
for Cairo and London, and sent them to Mocha by a 
boat belonging to Mahomed Ali. The business about the 


mules and camels has given us a great deal of trouble^ on 
account of our scanty funds. The SuUan has grown 
more and more friendly toward us ; and once brought 
us, in his own hands, a jug of milk, and, at another time, 
a buck. As a present, he only asked for a piece of 
bafta, to get a dress made for himself; and promised to 
let us have camels for fifteen dollars each, as we insisted 
that he should. Yesterday evening, however, when he 
again called on us, he fixed the price at seventeen 
dollars ; to which Ave agreed this morning, lest we 
should cause ourselves any further delay. 

Warkieh had yesterday another attack of fever ; and I 
therefore bled him to-day. Brother Krapf is also ap- 
prehensive of falling ill again here. 

Mahomed Ali expressed his fears this morning, that 
if this country were frequented by English travellers, 
they might put down the slave trade. We told him that 
the English would not interfere with their trade, as long 
as matters were not settled between the Sultan Maho- 
med and the Pasha of Egypt. He is afraid that we 
are going to persuade the King of Shoa to relinquish 
the slave trade, which appears to bring them considera- 
ble gain. 

The Sultan has just now been here again : he said, 
that he received yearly 200 head of cattle, camels, cows, 
sheep, and goats, as a tribute from the Danakil Tribes. 
Yv'hen asked whether he had not to pay any tribute to 
the Pasha of Egypt, he said " No : " but when I asked 
whether he had to pay tribute to the Governor of Zeila, 


he replied, that the Governor of Zeila had three-quar- 
ters of a dollar for every female slave sold here, whereas 
he receives yearly twenty dollars from Zeila. 

With the help of God, I have to-day finished the 
arrangement and insertion into the Lexicon of the words 
collected from the Pentateuch, and gathered, also, a few 
Dankali words. IMay the Lord bless this work, and 
also my fiu'ther proceedings, if He permit me to con- 
tinue them ! It is a grain of corn, which one day may 
bring forth fruit. May He draw our hearts more and 
more to Himself, though it be through sufferings ! 

Airril 18, 1839. — This afternoon, by the help of God, 
I terminated the perusal of the Pentateuch, which I 
began at Jidda. I inserted all the words into the 
Lexicon, as I had begun so. 

We bought a mule from our guide, IMahomed Ah ; 
and the camels are engaged at the rate of seventeen 

April 23 — Yesterday the heat was very intense, the 
thermometer standing at 95° in our room ; but to-day 
it was only 90°, the sky being overcast. 

A Mahomedan merchant from Tigr^, who came 
hither, from Bcrbera, on commercial business, gave us 
some information concerning Enarea, Sidama, and 
Gui-agiie ; which he had obtained chiefly from slaves. 
In these three countries there are many Christians. The 
race of men in Sidama is said to be su})erior, and of a 
hghter colour even than the Gallas. They say that the 
present ruler of Enarea, Abba Gibbo, has broken the 

14 "discusssion with 

caravan intercourse between Gondar and Sidania. His 
father, Abba Gumbal, sought to destroy his sons and 
brothers ; but Abba Gibbo gained the ascendancy, and 
deposed his father, leaving him only on his pay and the 
government of a small district. The traffic in slaves 
is very considerable in these countries, and seems to be 
much promoted by the King of Shoa. Our guide, 
Mahomed Ali, is much afraid that we shall persuade 
him to abaiidon it. We have tried to set him at ease 
in this respect as much as possible; but, nevertheless, 
he appears to distrust the English. Our stay here, which 
has been very trying on account of the great heat, will 
now, I hope, soon draw to a close. 

The Sultan came again yesterday evening, with a 
little hurdle basket full of milk, and to-day he called 
thrice. We have bought a mule, and negotiated for 
another, which was found to be unserviceable. The day 
after to-morrow we are to start for our journey. 

This evening, Warkieh had a discussion with the 
above mentioned jMahomedan Tigre merchant, j\Iaho- 
med, concerning Islamism ; in which, after a while, 
Mahomed Ali also joined. Warkieh required witnesses 
in behalf of the Koran. After a long dispute, the 
words of Moses, a prophet like unto me, were quoted ; 
when I came to Warkieh's assistance, opposing them 
with the context, //"o?» the midst of thee, as relating to 
Christ, not to jMahomed ; and showing how the Law, 
the Prophets, and the Gospel agree with one another ; 
whereas the Koran agreed with none of these, which 


would be necessary if it were the accomplisliment of 
tlie whole. Mahomed, the merchant^ said, " It is true 
that all wisdom and knowledge is with the Franks ; 
only with regard to religion they are in error." I 
rejoined : " If you must admit that we are superior to 
you in the things relating only to this world — and these 
are indeed very insignificant in comparison to the great 
questions, ' ^VhsLt must I do to be saved ? ' ' How shall 
I save my soul from sin, and the curse which is attached 
toit?^ — do you not think that we also inquire into 
this most important of all questions ? " I then briefly 
proclaimed Jesus Christ to him, as the only Redeemer 
sent from God to us sinners — that it was He alone who 
could save us on the Day of Judgment, when all other 
prophets, and so-called Saviours, would have to look 
for help for their own souls. Hereupon he appeared 
to grow rather thoughtful ; for as he rose to retire, he 
said, " We have discussed many things to-day, and you 
have frightened us." 



April 25, 1839. — Yesterday our departure was deter- 
mined on for this day. Mahomed Ali got half his wages 
as guide, viz. twenty-six dollars out of fifty; and for 
the hire for the camels, thirty-four of the sixty-eight ; 
in all, sixty dollars. To the Sultan we gave a present of 
sixteen yards of bafta, worth a dollar and a half, and a 
small piece of Siamoise, worth two dollars. On ashing 
for more, we also gave him three dollars in silver, an 
old handkerchief, and some needles. 

Here IMahomed Ali again evinced his selfishness, by 
stating, that he would only guide us as far as the re- 


sidence of his father^ Errer ; from whence his father 
would go with us as far as Ankobar ; proposing, as 
dragoman and footman on the road, AU Arab, a mer- 
chant of this ])lace, who is generally employed as dra- 
goman by the Sultan. Of course he durst not ask any 
thing for his father ; but he would not take Ali Arab 
at his own expense. At last, we agreed to give him 
fifteen dollars for his companion, as he seemed to be a 
judicious and well-informed man. 

A caravan starting to-day, we wished to join them 
as far as the salt plain ; but two of Mahomed Ali^s 
people having absented themselves with a camel, and 
not returning till noon, he postponed our departure till 
the following morning; saying, that we could easily 
make, in one day, the two little journeys AA^hich the 
caravan would make to-day and to-morrow, as it was 
only five hours' distance — two from this to Ambabo, 
and three from thence to Diilliil. 

Jpril 21 — ^Yesterday our departure was finally 
effected. AVe rose very early in the morning, and had 
the camels saddled by a quarter to seven. We then 
set out, and reached Ambabo at a quarter before ten, 
where we encamped beneath some palm trees. The 
distance from Tadjurra is about an hour and a half : it 
lies W. S. W., at the Gubbat il Charab, (the Bay of 
Tadjurra), which extends itself still farther inland, in a 
westerly direction. The village Ambabo sprang out of a 
feud : its inhabitants formerly resided at Tadjurra ; but 
falling out with the rest of the citizens, they reuioved 


to AmbabOj where they built this village. Onr guide 
stopped behind with Ali Arab, saying, that he would 
join us in the afternoon, and then proceed with us as 
far as DliHiil. However, when he came up with Ali 
Arab, about five o'clock in the evening, he said that we 
w^ere not to start until morning. On remonstrating 
with him, he said that the road lay along the coast, and 
was not passable this evening, on account of the rising 
flood; in consequence of which w^e were obliged to 
stop. This morning we rose at three o'clock, and, 
moving at a quick pace, reached Diilliil at half -past five; 
and half an hour after, made Sukta. As we met no 
kafila here, we went on to Saggallo, situated half an 
hour S. W. from Diilliil. These places are not inha- 
bited, but serve merely as caravan stations, there being 
water. The distance from Tadjurra to Saggallo is 
about five hours. 

April 28, 1839 : LorcVs Day. — This morning, as we 
were about to proceed, a camel was said to be lost, and we 
could not move before it was found again : for the same 
reason, the caravan which was with us would remain. 
Mahomed Ali, our guide, seems determined to prolong 
our journey, as he is anxious to spare his camels. The 
beast was, however, found in the course of the morning, 
and we were to proceed in the afternoon. Yesterdaj% 
the thermometer rose to 94|° : to-day, at eleven 
o'clock, it was at 96|°. This region is very sandy 
and stony, and the soil overgrown with dwarfish 
mimosa trees, which serve to lodge many of the fea- 


tliered tribe^ particularly sea-birds, pigeons, partridges, 
and guinea-fowls ; also a small sort of gazelles, in Ara- 
bic called Beni Israel. Besides the above-mentioned, 
the hare is the only species of game which resorts hither. 
There are not many wild beasts here about : the lynx is 
said to prey upon the goat. We were not able to as- 
certain whether the leopard is found in the mountains. 
During our excui'sions, we saw a jackal. This country 
is by no means deficient in water. At Tadjurra there 
is a walled cistern. On our road hither, and even 
here, there are spots where the traveller has but to dig 
a hole in the ground to get water. Its quality depends, 
of course, on the nature of the soil. Here it is not the 
best, having rather an unpleasant taste ; which is made 
still worse by a certain herb which they put into their 
badly-prepared skin-bags, and which gives the water a 
reddish colour and a bitter taste. 

The Dankali peeple of this region have many pecu- 
liarities. They are of the same race as the Shohos, and 
differ from them but little, either in their language or 
physiognomy. They are, however, less boisterous in 
their demeanour, though perhaps more shrewd than 
the Shohos. One peculiarity in their conversation 
struck us. On saluting each other, or talking toge- 
ther, the person spoken to generally repeats every sen- 
tence addressed to him, or at least the last word, which 
they usually abbreviate, sometimes only pronouncing 
the last syllable ; or the person spoken to expresses his 


attention by sympathetically uttering after every sen- 
tence the protracted sound ' hmm/ They are bigoted 
Mahomedans ; and, in general, very ignorant. Even 
the women, while grinding, usually chant their creed, 
" La illaha ill'allah," &c., or other songs of the same 
tenour. Their mills are much like those on board the 
Arab vessels. The women do not live much more 
separate from the male sex than in Abyssinia, nor is 
their conduct much more moral. 

April 29, 1839. — We left Saggallo at midnight, and 
travelled for half an hour along the sea-coast, in a due 
west direction; then turned to the north-west, ascended 
an eminence, passed the defile Gall' allifeo, and, after 
a further ascent, the station Derkelle; and at last 
reached some table-land, called Wardelissan. From 
this we turned westward, till we arrived at a spot where 
a few low mimosa trees were growing, and here alighted 
to pass the night : it wanted a quarter to eight when 
we halted. Estimating the distance by our pace during 
the seven hours and three quarters' ride, we may have 
gone over a track of seven hours. As W'C ascended, we 
breathed a fresh air ; but on reaching the table-land, 
although the sun had only been up a short time, it 
grew hot, the heat being increased by a south-east wind. 
The plain was covered with volcanic stones. 

April 30. — This morning we started at three o'clock, 
and descended in a south-east and southern direction, 
through a narrow ravine, called Raisan, which was very 
toilsome for the camels to pass. This led us to the 


western cud of tlie Bay of Tadjurra, which here termi- 
nates in a second bay. From AVardeUssan hither we 
had gone over a track of about an hour-aud-a-half ex- 
tent ; which, together with the road where we left the 
sea-coast to WardeUssan, makes five hours; and de- 
ducting the windings, the distance in a direct hue from 
the spot where wc left the shore to the end of the bay, 
is probably about three hours. From thence we as- 
cended again, and came to table land ; where the vol- 
canic appearance was still more evident, in the burnt 
minerals, ashes, and lava, which abounded all around. 
After proceeding another hour in a westerly direction, 
we saw the salt lake Assal in a valley before us ; and 
at eight o'clock we encamped at the caravan station, 
Daferri, on the declivity of the hill. The heat soon 
became intense : at noon it was 99", half an hour 
later 100", and afterwards rose to 102". 

May 1 — Yesterday our caravan was induced, 
through the great heat and want of water, to start at 
three in the afternoon ; and we began to move round 
the lake. Our course lay south-west ; but owing to 
the ruggedness of the ground, wc were obliged to wind 
our way sometimes in almost opposite directions. Wc 
crossed the valley IMarmarisso, where the caravans 
sometimes encamp : then came to an eminence, Muya ; 
whence we descended a steep declivity, and reached the 
valley Muya at seven o'clock, having made about two 
hours' way ; although, in a straight line, the distance 
from Daferri is liardly three-quarters of an hour. From 


Muya we set off at half-past one in the night, and first 
reached a rather elevated plain, named Halaksitan. On 
account of the ruggedness of the ground, full of chasms 
and gulfs, the vestiges of volcanic eruptions, we sought 
to get round the lake Assal, towards the south, in a 
semicircle. To effect this, we had to round some 
mountains south of the lake, and arrived at a resting- 
place at its southern extremity ; but as there was no 
water, the caravan thought it better not to stop. We 
now descended to the lake, the shores of which are 
covered with a thick salt crust, which, to a European, 
presents the appearance of ice. Hither many caravans 
resort for salt, to carry to Abyssinia; of which trade the 
Danakils make a monopoly, claiming the right to take 
salt from hence as their exclusive privilege. Formerly 
the lake must have been situated much higher up ; for 
at the southern and western ends of it a thick crust of 
white and grey crystal extends along the coast, which, 
close to the lake, has a saltish taste, the taste decreasing 
with the distance. We passed over this salt crust from 
south to west : it rests for the most part directly on 
the ground, as the water seems to have sunk. In some 
parts, however, the water is seen beneath, and from hence 
it is that the caravans take their salt. I examined the 
salt incrustation in one of these places, and found it to 
be about half a foot thick. The lake is nearly oval ; 
its length, from north to south, about two hours ; and 
its greatest breadth, from east to west, perhaps one 
hour. The Danakils believe there is a subterranean 


connexion between this salt lake and the Bay of Tad- 
jiUTa, from which it is about two hours^ distant, in a 
direct line. After leaving the lake, we entered a dale 
toward the west, which ran between moderately high 
mountains, first westward, then south-west, and at ten 
o'clock alighted at a place of encampment called Gun- 
gunta, where there is water. About noon the heat rose 
to 107% and now, at three p. m., it is 106°. 

Maij 2, 1839. — This morning we did not move off till 
sunrise, half-past five. Our road lay first west, then south 
and south-west, through the valley Kellu, which, by its 
abundance of water and its verdure, strongly brought 
to our mind the valley of Samhar ; with this difference 
only, that the mountains of Samhar are higher, and 
bear more vegetation. Toward half past eight we 
arrived at our encamping place, Alluli, after having 
gone over a distance of two hours. The weather to-day 
is not so hot as yesterday, although the wiud was 
equally so. 

Had, this evening, a conversation with Ali Arab 
about the Dankali tribes between Tadjurra and Shoa. 
The chief tribes are the Debenik We'ema, Mudaitu, Ad- 
AlH, and Burhanto ; to which latter the Sultan of Tad- 
jurra belongs, and Tadjurra, the tribe of the present 
Vizier. The Debenik We'ema, and Mudaitu, appear 
to be the more numerous ; and the latter, ])crhaps, the 
more powerful of the Kabyles. The Mudaitus have 
their chief residence in Aussa, and extend as far nortli 
as near ]\Iassowah. At Aussa, the Sultan has his 


Nayb. On our road the Mudaitus begin in tbe valley 
Kellii, and extend as far as the district of Aussa. At 
present^ they are at peace with the rest of the Dauakils, 
although disaffected, especially toward the Debenik 
We'emas, with whom they had a bloody war some years 
ago. On that occasion the We'emas called the Bedouins 
of Aden to their assistance; who sent them 400 sol- 
diers, and with these they conquered the Mudaitus. 
Afterward, however, they became indignant at the 
licentiousness to which these 400 soldiers abandoned 
themselves after their victory, and endeavoured to re- 
move them as soon as possible. " Nevertheless," said 
Ali, "the people of Tadjiu-ra were not prevented from 
going to Shoa, although the ]\Iudaitus had interrupted 
the communication. The people of Tadjurra went to 
the end of their bay ; from thence proceeded, by night, 
to the lake of Assal ; there collected salt, returned, and 
then made their way to Shoa through the Somali coun- 
try, close by Horror." 

Ali gave us an instance of the Sultan of Tadjurra's 
weakness. It happened that he wished to give his 
nephew a wife from another Kabyla, who had a settle- 
ment in Tadjurra. This being refused by the Kabjda, 
the Sultan commanded them to leave Tadjurra : how- 
ever, the other inhabitants of Tadjm'ra encouraged them 
to remain. Hereupon they sent them to the learned 
men in Arabia and the Sheiks at Aussa, for their deci- 
sion of the matter. They all investigated their codes 
of the law, and found that the Sultan could not force 


the Kabyla to do as he wished. Now he has prohibited 
all marriage for a whole year; yetj in general, the Sul- 
tan seems to be a well-disposed man. This we con- 
clude, not only from his treatment of us, but also from 
the manner of his procedure concerning a ship of Diu, 
about which we often heard at Tadjurra. Several years 
ago, this ship, with a considerable cargo on board, hap- 
pened to get into the Bay of Tadjurra, having lost her 
course. The people of Tadjurra helped them to dis- 
charge their cargo into a small vessel, with which they 
sent a pilot to steer her to Mocha; and, for their 
trouble, would take no other compensation than 200 
bundles of rice and the vessel, out of which the Sultan 
has constructed a house. This, indeed, may appear an 
adequate remuneration ; but the restitution of all the 
goods, v/hich it was in his ])Ower to have kept in great 
part for himself, is a very commendable action in a Chief 
of these savage tribes. 

Yesterday evening, some merchants of the caravan 
came and asked me whether the Indians have also books. 
They had heard this from our people, to whom we had 
told it ; and, wondering, said they knew very well that 
the Jews, the Franks, and the Kafers in Abyssinia, "i^ bad 
books, but thought the Indians had none. I told them 
that they had many books, otherwise it would be incon- 
ceivcable how they could be so learned and cultivated 
as they are ; that we possessed some of their books, but 

* Here I rebuked them for calling the Abyssinians, or the Cliristian.s 
in general, Kafer; a name wiiich denotes a man who knows nothing about 
God, or denies God, or, knowing the will of God, does not act accordingly. 



that tliey had not the Word of God ; that what they 
wrote on Divinity, Rehgion, and Philosophy, was only 
the result of their own thinking, and was not divinely 
revealed to them. 

May 3, 1839 — Early this morning, at three o'clock, 
we continued our course, turning westward ; then, for a 
short time, north-west; then again west and south- 
west, through barren dales, till we emerged into a vast 
plain, called Anderhadideba, which separates two ridges 
of mountains. The soil for the lirst half-hom-'s march 
over this plain appeared to be good, but produced 
nothing, the ground being broken up : afterward, how- 
e\-er, it was fertile, grown over with shrubs, especially 
the Juniper. We met with some goatherds of the 
Mudaitus, and saw also three fine roes, which we at- 
tempted to shoot, but in vain. Toward seven we came 
to an open spot, called Gagade, where the shrubs 
recede in a wide circle. This being an encamping 
place, we here reposed. In our neighbourhood, a Mu- 
daitu, with his wife and goats, had pitched his tent ; 
Avhich was very low, and hedged in with thorns, accord- 
ing to the custom of the country. The weather is very 
hot. Between eleven and this time — a quarter before 
two — the thermometer has varied from 106° to 109° : 
however, the wind is not so hot as it was yesterday and 
the preceding days. Toward half-past three, 111°: a 
quarter to four, 107°. 

May 4 — Left Gagade at half-past one this morning. 
The other caravan had already separated from us ; one 


dinsion to go to Aussa ; the other, as Mahomed AH 
said, because we marched too fast. Our people have 
abeady been prevented for several days from riding on 
the camels, for which we are very sorry, although I 
myself always walk on foot, for want of a mule. Re- 
monstrances \\'ith ^lahomed Ali avail nothing : we must 
submit, especially as his camels are so very weak. We 
moved at fii'st chiefly west till we arrived at the resting- 
place, Karautu, where the way to Aussa branches off 
toward the west. From Karautu, our com-se lay south, 
between mountains, exhibiting traces of volcanic action, 
with scarcely any vegetation. Only in the valleys did we 
see gi'ass and brushwood ; and even here the ground is 
like\vise covered with ashes. Soon after, we entered a 
long glen, where we saw many date trees, of which not 
the least care seems to be taken. The Bedouins cut off 
the summit of these trees, and extract the juice, which 
is said to be intoxicating. At eight we arrived at Da- 
libui, a Danakil settlement, where we rested. In the 
last six hours and a half we had not made above three 
hours' way. Half an hour before noon, the thermo- 
meter was at 97": at noon, 98° : at one o'clock, 99 ' : 
and remained as high as 97° at five p.m. 

A chief occupation of the Danakils, especially of the 
women, more particularly when they travel, is the 
plaiting of mats and baskets, for salt and corn, from the 
branches of the palm-tree. The women seem to be 
industrious. They dress in a veiy slovenly manner, 
and frequently wear nothing but a piece of cloth, of a 
C 2 


gi-ey, h\\\e, or variegated colour, tied round their hips, 
and reacliing down to the knees, sometimes bound 
round with a fancifully- wrought leathern belt. Not- 
withstanding, they are vain, and fond of wearing brace- 
lets and foot- ornaments, ear and nose-rings, coral 
strings on their necks, &c. 

3fai/ 5, 1839 : Lord's Day — We started at three this 
morning, and moved in a south-west direction^ through 
the vale of Kurri, till we reached Saggadere, and thence 
to Little Marha, where we arrived at seven, having passed 
over a space of about two hours and a quarter, in three 
and a half. Vs^& had fresh trouble with our two people, 
because they could not ride, and were unwell. The 
heat again rather oppressive : at noon, 95" : a quarter of 
an hour later, 97° : half-past twelve, 100" : at one, 102°. 
The road was nearly level, hence no decrease of heat : 
very little vegetation. It appears to have rained some 
days since, but the ground seems to have absorbed all 
the moisture ; nevertheless, water is not totally wanting. 
Our victuals begin to fail; and as our butter is all gone, 
we have to boil our rice and lentils — which are the only 
provisions left us — in water and salt. However, if the 
Lord be our Shepherd, we shall not want ; and He will 
help us through every difficulty, proceed they from 
whatever quarter they may. The thermometer, at a 
quarter-past two, at 103|° : a few minutes later, at 104°. 
May 6 — Yesterday, at a quarter to four p.m., we left 
Little Marha, moved along the valley almost westward, 
then ascended a hill of about 300 feet elevation, very 


stony ; and afterward took a more southern direction, 
to a caravan encaniping-spot on the table-land, which 
we reached at a quarter to seven o'clock, having made 
a way of about one hour and three-quarters, in three 
hours. In the evening, a hot wind blew : the ground 
beneath us, as we lay stretched upon it, glowed almost 
like an oven. 

We set off at half-past three this morning, and 
marched stumbling over the stony table-land, till we 
descended and passed through a ravine, and neared the 
caravan station Galamo, where we found a few Bedouin 
huts. General route, south-west. Passed a hill, and 
came into another Aalley, where we should have reposed, 
had we not been encouraged to pursue our journey by 
the lowering sky protecting us from the burning sun. 
From Adaita we passed through a grassy plain, in which 
there w^ere roes and gazelles. From this the road 
soon led again over a hill, commanding a vast pros- 
pect from the summit. Farther on, we entered the 
vale of Ramudeli, where we encamped. We arrived 
here at half-past eight, having made scarcely three 
hours' way in five hours' march. The sun now broke 
through the clouds, and away went the freshness of the 
air. We lay down beneath some mimosa trees, and 
after a while our guide sent his people to go for water ; 
but they returned with the distressing intelligence that 
they had sought for it in vain. We had taken water 
in our bags yesterday afternoon at Marha, but it was 
now consumed, and our guide had calculated on fnuling 


water here. The heat is again oppressive, the thermo- 
meter, being now, half-past eleven, at 102° : the same 
at two o'clock. The heat here is increased by the north- 
east wind passing over the scorched hills. "VVe found 
water at last in this vale, for which the Lord be praised ! 

May 8, 1839 — We left Ramudeli yesterday morning 
at half-past three; atfive o'clock reached Abu Yussufj and 
toward half-past eight, Gubaad. Yesterday afternoon, 
at three o'clock, we left Gubaad, passed through Sankal, 
and a spot where there is a fountain of water, and ar- 
rived at Arabdera about eight in the evening. It was 
too hot, and I was too tired to write. The distance be- 
tween Ramudeli and Gubaad may be about three hours, 
and nearly the same between Gubaad and Arabdera. We 
left Arabdera this morning at three. It is situated on 
a vast elevated plain, almost completely covered with 
volcanic stones. Just before sunrise we came to a wide 
low plain, where we saw some wild-asses grazing, which 
took to their heels at our approach. At ten we reached 
our resting-place Daueileka, where our camel-drivers 
dressed a wild ass which they had killed. In these 
seven hours we have made about four hours' way. The 
German hymn, " My life is a pilgrimage," is becoming 
very familiar to me on this journey. 

May 9 — Yesterday evening our people seemed to be 
apprehensive of robbers. They stated that a hostile 
Kabyla, called Galeila, had gone far away from this 
part to a watering-place, and that consequently we could 
not proceed thither ; the more so, as the friendly We'ema 


Dankali, who formerly had kept them under restraint, 
had removed from among them. This morning we 
started at sunrise, a quarter before six ; and after a short 
inarch on the plain west-ward, ascended a pretty high 
eminence, called Mari, southward; and at half-past 
ten reached our eucamping-place on the table-land. 
The air grew more and more pure and fresh as we as- 
cended, and I felt rather refreshed than fatigued when 
we arrived on the plain. Thermometer 90" at half-past 
ten: at eleven, 93°: half-past twelve, 97°: at one o'clock, 
98°. Mahomed Ali says he has received news that his 
relations have left Errer for want of rain, and have re- 
moved towards the north. 

May 10 — Yesterday afternoon, at twenty minutes 
past three, we set out from our encampment on Mount 
]\Iari, and descended a low terrace ; then marched on a 
wide undulating high plain, over loose stones, without 
a vestige of a path, our guides at a great distance in 
front, till, after sunset, we reached a declivity, the 
descent of which was not a little dangerous. Several 
times the camels could hardly move forward, terrified 
by the dismal abyss on the right ; while the darkness of 
the night rendered the path under our feet almost un- 
discernible. At length we reached an eminence at the 
foot of the mountain on its western side, and there 
halted, on a stony spot, where the Bedouins used to 
enclose their herds between loose walls, to keep them 
from beasts of prey; although there was no fuel to 
light a fire, nor water to drink. This morning, we 


started off at a quarter before five. When the moon is 
in the wane, we have in general observed the maxim to 
rise with it, and prepare our breakfast, and then to 
proceed while the camels are loading. We descended 
the remaining declivity, and came to Ahull, where we 
found four or five hot springs, probably sulphureous. 
Here we took in water. After a stop of about an hour, 
we prosecuted our com-se through a large plain, extend- 
ing south-east and north-west : our route lay south- 
Avest across a plain. We afterward passed over a little 
eminence covered with volcanic stones, called Lukki, 
which is nearly flat on the top, as are most mountains 
we have passed on this journey. After half-past nine 
we arrived at a tree, beneath which we reposed. From 
this spot we have an extensive prospect before us toward 
the south-west and west : the country is nearly level, 
with the exception of some low hills in the vicinity, 
and two or three higher ones at a distance in the west 
— the mountains of Argobba, and perhaps of Shoa. 
Thermometer now, at half-past eleven, at 97". Left 
Lukki at three p.m., and ascended the plain, which was 
overgrown with grass, in a south-western direction. 
Mahomed Ali saw a hysena on the road, and a dark grey 
snake of considerable size. We marched till nearly 
seven o'clock, when we rested on a level spot in the 
plain of Killele. 

May 11 — We started at one in the night, in order 
to make a good journey to-day ; but we had not pro- 
ceeded far, when we and our animals got into the mud. 


The rain wliicli fell here yesterday, on the clayey soilj 
has changed it into mud. However, as we turned as 
far as practicable to the west, we soon reached a dry 
spot ; and thence took a more northern course, till 
we met with a new difficulty, and lay down to await 
day-break. Toward sunrise we noticed several herds 
of cattle in the valley, and a relation of Mahomed 
Ali, with a Soniah, came to salute him. At half-past 
seven we set out again, first north, then north-west, then 
west, and passed two large herds of fine cattle. Here 
we drank water and filled our leather bags. After 
another hour's march, arrived at Barudega, where we 
rested under a tree, but were annoyed by insects. By 
half-past eleven the heat rose to 103" : toward one 
o'clock a shower fell, and reduced the heat to 95°. 

May 12: Lord's Day — Yesterday, at half-past three 
P.M., we left Barudega, and, piu-suing our course south- 
west through the plain, drew near a low ridge of moun- 
tains, stretching south-east and north-west. Toward 
eight, we came to a place with trees, brush-wood, and 
water, where we halted and passed the night, as we 
could not now reach Gaiel, the village of INIahomed 
All's uncle, the Chief of the Debenik "We'ema. No 
sooner had we laid down, than Ernst awoke us, and in 
a great fright took up a sword and musket, pointing flt 
a beast of prey which he said had come near us, and 
which he thought was a lion. As it immediately began 
to howl, we discovered that it was a hyrcna. "Warkieh 
now kept watch, but soon feel asleep. ^)'hen we awoke 

c 5 


in the morning, we noticed the traces of two hyfenas, 
which had crawled about our camp and close to our 
beds. Mahomed Ali, having been awakened by their 
noise, had chased them away by throwing a stone at 
them ; — a new evidence this, of the hand of God guard- 
ing us against such dangers, and the presumption of 
the flesh in fancying to be able to guard itself. 

It is already the third Lord's Day of our journey 
from Tadjurra, and the sixteenth since we left Cairo. 
To us it is indeed a great privation to be shut out from 
celebrating it in communion with our Brethren — wan- 
dering about as strangers in jNIesech, and our souls 
often longing in a strange country for the courts of the 
Lord. However, we are pilgrims for Him, and are per- 
suaded that He will amply compensate us for our actual 
privations. "Would that our present conversation were 
more sanctified ! We shall probably stop here to-day : 
either the people of the village are unwilling to receive 
us, or our guide has so agreed with them, that they 
come out to him, instead of our going to them. We 
do not lose much by not being among them, but per- 
haps escape their curiosit}^, and thus gain more quiet, 
which we desire, on the Lord's day. 

The heat threatens to become excessive again to-day ; 
about half an hour ago the thermometer showed 93° ; 
and now, a quarter-past ten, it is at 98°. At half-past 
one it rose to 107°: and at two to 108°. Mahomed 
All's uncle, to whom he had sent a few days since for 
some camels to assist him, had been out to meet us, with 


a horse or mulcj and some soldiers ; but as lie went the 
right road, and we travelled on a bye-way, he had 
missed us. Thermometer, at a quai'ter-past three p.m., 

May 13, 1839 — Yesterday evening, after long vacilla- 
tions, Mahomed Ali at length resolved to go into the vil- 
lage. We started at about half-past five, and entered the 
village, which was only a quarter of an hour's distance 
from our camp, and seated ourselves in front of the 
house and stable of the Dankali Chief, the uncle of 
our guide. At this moment we are thronged by men 
and boys of this country, whom curiosity has attracted 
to see us. Thermometer, at a quarter-past seven, 
8,2° : at half-past eight, 85°. 

The name Adaiel, for the Dankali people, is the 
Arabic mode of calling the whole by a part. It is de- 
rived from Ad Alb, one of the Kabyles of the Danakil, 
to which the Sultan of Tadjurra belongs. The chief 
seat of this tribe is in the neighbourhood of Shoa; but 
the greater part is dispersed among diiFerent other 
tribes. Formerly it was probably the most powerful 
of any, and gave the name to the whole of its former 
dominion. Apparently, the most powerful tribes at 
present are the Mudaitus and Debcnik We'ema. The 
former have their chief seat in Aussa, and sometimes 
get in collision with the We'emas and the rest of the 
Danakils. They are seemingly more numerous and 
powerful than any other Dankali tribe. The name 
Dankali is Arabic : they call themselves Affar. Thcr- 


mometer, at half-past ten, 98° : a quarter-past eleven, 
105°: at noon, 1052°: seven minutes after one, 108^°: a 
quarter before two, 109": half-past tvi'o, 110°: at three, 
106°. For the last few days we have generally had 
several w^hirlwinds in the afternoon. When at Lukki, 
we observed many about noon ; it then rained in the 

7lfa^l4, 1839 — We set off from Gaiel, and ascended 
an eminence about two hours from Gaiel, in a south-west 
direction. Here we encamped near the Avatering-place 
AHbekele, where the herds of cattle belonging to the 
Bedouins of this region assemble to drink. Ther- 
mometer, a quarter-past two, at 103° : a quarter to 
three, 101|° : then 101°, as a thunder-storm is ap- 
proaching : at three, 99°. 

May 15 — We did not leave Alibekele, as IMahom- 
ed Ali sent this morning for his father, because 
there is plenty of water here, but none at the place 
of his residence. The trade in these countries is car- 
ried on by barter. What they call Nile stuff, that is 
to say, blue-dyed bad bafta, and grey Indian Kosh 
(linen), are given as money for larger articles. SLxteen 
native yards of the latter are required for a dress : the 
former is used by the women to cover the head. For 
Kosh we bought a sheep ; for Nile stuff, butter ; and 
for pepper and needles, milk. Thermometer, at a 
quarter-past seven a.m., at 87° : ten minutes before 
eleven, 99" : a quarter-past eleven, 1021" : a few 
minutes after, 106°. 



Mmj 16— Every night we are visited by hysenas, 
wliicli generally venture close to our beds; but although 
we have kept watch several times, we have not yet 
succeeded in killing one. Our guide, Mahomed Ali, 
asserted yesterday evening, that leopards never inha- 
bit the same region with hysenas. As we contended 
against this, he related, that, in his travels, he once 
saw a leopard with a sheep in his jaws, encounter a 
hyana : the leopard fled to a tree, and the hysena, 
unable to follow him, kept watch beneath. At last, 
the leopard, seeing the people coming at a distance, 
came down ; when the hycena fell upon him, and tore 
him and the sheep to pieces, which were found by 
the people when they arrived at the spot — the hyrena 
ha\'iug taken to flight at the approach of men. He 
assui-ed us that hysenas are much stronger than leo- 
pards ; but that they flee from man : whereas leopards 
attack man, although they never make head against a 
hysena. This may serve to confirm a fact which 
the Rev. S. Gobat is said to have related among his 
friends, as an instance of a remarkable deliverance 
when he slept between a leopard and a hyrena, 
Ijoth at a short distance from him : the hyana 
having restrained the fierceness of the leopard during 
the whole night. In the morning, he said, he threw a 
stone at the hyaena, whereupon the leopard went away 
of his own accord. 

Regarding the Issa Somals, both Mahomed Ali 
and Ali iVrab stated that they are malicious — that they 


steal and murder. Sometimes two or three of them 
go on a robbing expedition^ and providing themselves 
with victuals for several months, secrete themselves in 
ambush along the road, and lurk for travellers who may 
happen to separate themselves from the caravan, to as- 
sail and kill them. They are on pretty good terms 
with the Debenik We'emas ; who, however, are on their 
guard against them. They serve the Alia Gallas as 
leaders against the Danakils, when not in hostility with 
each other. They say that the Alia Gallas, through 
the midst of whom we have to travel for four or five 
days, are a very dangerous people,* Ali related that 
on a jom-ney through their country, their caravan hav- 
ing encamped, with theii* arms in readiness, and while 
keeping watch, late in the night they observed a single 
Galla approaching their camp, crawling on his belly, 
and in the act of raising his lance to kill a man of 
the caravan. They then rose to seize him; but he 
escaped. — Bows and poisoned arrows are still in use 
among the Somals. Fire-arms are yet little knowTi 
among these savages. When Brother Krapf fired his 
pistol, they screamed, and stooped down. They are 
bigoted jNIahomedans. Yesterday, one of them came into 
our tent to look at our things. As he was prevented, 
he pronounced the words, " La illaha ilFallah," which I 
repeated after him. He continued, "AVaMahomed Russul 
Ullah,^^ repeating it several times, as he saw that I did 

* The sequel shows, however, that this was not the case. 


not say it after him. Then I said, " Wal Messicli ibn 
Allah." Upon this he rose, and went out. Mahom- 
ed Ali several times expressed his surprise that the 
Ulemas at Cairo had not persuaded us to become Ma- 
homedans. The principal seat of their learning seems 
to be Aussa; where they say several Ulemas reside, 
whose learning, according to Ali Arab, is as the sea. 
Thermometer, at six in the morning, 78° : at eight, 
86" : at nine, 88°. 

Yesterday we were again permitted to experience 
that the Lord was with us in His Spirit of discipline, 
purifying our conversation and common relationship. 
May He ever rule among us, and never withdraw His 
grace from us ! 

About an hour ago, ^lahomed Ali's father arrived 
on a mule, and without escort. He has not yet been 
in our tent ; but has sent us a handful of coffee-seeds, 
with the message, that we should prepare some coffee, 
as he would drink it with us. Thermometer, at a quar- 
ter-past ten, 91 3° : ten minutes past eleven, 100° : at 
noon, the sky overcast, 98° : at one, 105i° : after ten 
minutes more, 107°. 

May 1 7, 1839 — We left AUbekele yesterday afternoon 
at three, ascending westward, and in half-an-hour were 
overtaken by a shower. After stopping till it was 
nearly over, we made our way with difficulty through 
the mud. Toward seven we arrived at a spot called 
Adaito, where wc passed the night. As my coverlet 
was quite soaked through, I had to make the best of 


my shirts and sheets during the night. The father of 
Mahomed AH brought us milk^ which Mas quite a 
refreshment. We started this morning about seven. 
Our course lay over a stony plain with much grass^ on 
which we saw many herds and singing birds. At half- 
past eight we reached Hasnadera^ the residence of 
Sheik Ali, Mahomed All's father, where we halted, 
l^liile pitching our tent, some children brought ns 
grass to strcAv beneath it, for which they begged coral. 
When the tent was erected, a bag of curdled milk was 
brought to us. We shall stay here at least this day ; 
and then a new period of our journey will probably 
begin with om* new guide. The Lord be praised, who 
has helped us thus far ! Though not without troubles, 
yet we are still spared ; though not without sins and 
temptations, yet with obvious proofs of His continued 
favor and mercy we have got on hitherto. 

On the road this morning, I stayed alone with the 
Lord, and stood before Him, like Jacob of old at the 
ford of Jabbok, and He blessed me. 

Yesterday evening we saw the mountains of Horror 
before us, toward the south-west, covered with clouds. 
The town of Horror is said to be only two and a half 
days' journey distant from this. We are already in the 
neighbourhood of the Alia Gallas ; who have expelled 
Sheik Ali Abe from Errer, and spread themselves as 
far as that district. Terrible people ! seeking their 
honour in murder ! On asking our guide yesterday, w^hy 
the Gallas kill people, whether for booty or otherwise. 


he said, " Their only honour and riches consist in the 
number of their slain enemies. In other countries, one 
inquires after the wealth, rank, or condition of a per- 
son, in order to honour him ; but among the Gallas one 
asks only how many men he has butchered.^^ ^^ by 
should we withhold the Gospel of mercy from these 
wretched slaves of Satan ? Within two days more we 
shall reach them ; and five days it will take us to pass 
through the midst of them, before we come to the 
Hawash. Thermometer this morning, at half-past 
nine, 90° : near ten, 94°. The AVe'ema Danakil maintain 
about ]00 Somal bow- men, who have been taken from 
various Somal tribes, and are now naturalized among 
them : they still preserve, however, their Somal tongue, 
and marry among themselves, without intermixing with 
the Danakils. The Danakils regard shooting as unlaw- 
ful, and therefore employ the Somals in it. They seem 
to cany on bloody wars sometimes among themselves. 
The same is also said of the Somals. Thermometer, at 
a quarter-past twelve, 104° : a quarter to one, 107° : at 
two, 110.^°. 

May 18, 1839 — Yesterday evening, Mahomed Ali 
endeavoured to procure an additional camel; saying, that 
the four we had were not sufficient as we should 
henceforward travel quicker. This morning, at half- 
past six, we set off from Little Hasnadera, and con- 
tinuing our course south-west over the plain, which 
was gradually rising. We reached Great Hasnadera at 
half-past ten, where we halted, as Mahomed Ali said 


that we were to pass the night here. Thermometer at 
half-past two, 106° ; sky overcast. 

May 19^ 1839: Lord's Day — On this clay, European 
Christians commemorate the effusion of the Holy 
Spirit, and the Church is refreshed here and there by 
a new outpouring of the same ; while we here at 
MuUu, about an hour and a half west from Great 
Hasnadera, om* present place of repose, must pitch our 
tent in Kedar. May the Lord pour also upon us a 
shower of mercy, and revive the scorched soil of our 
hearts ! that the blessed stream from the heavenly 
altar may also flow to this dead sea of nations, and 
renew them ! 

Yesterday evening, at ten minutes before six, we 
left Great Hasnadera ; and moving westward, over very 
stony gi'ound, reached j\Iullu, where Shiek Ali has his 
chief residence, at half-past eight. Mullu is nothing 
but a vast plain covered with stones, with here 
and there a little verdure and a few mimosa trees, 
and some scattered sprig hovels. A cluster of such 
huts form something like a village. As our guide, 
Mahomed Ali, declared he would stay here to-morrow, 
and we are to pursue our road, we are wi-iting Letters 
to go by him. Hitherto I have travelled on foot ; but 
as a mule has been offered me to-day by the old man 
for fifteen dollars, to be paid for hereafter, I have 
accepted it for myself and Warkieh, as he also begins 
to find walking difiicult. 



May 20 — This mornings IMaliomcd Ali consigned 
us over to the guidance of liis father for the succeed- 
ing part of our journey ; in which transaction, which 
was conducted rather formally, Ali Arab acted as Tar- 
giman. We separated as friends. The way before us 
is apparently hazardous ; not only on account of the 
Gallas, whose northern boundaries we shall have to 


touch, but particularly on account of the hostile IMutlia- 
tuSj along whose southern border our route lies. On 
this account, Sheik Ali declared he would take an 
escort of his people, for safety's sake. We should 
have set out this morning ; but as there is no 
water at the next stage, water was sent for, to load a 
camel. The old man made a strange remark : he said, 
that the road by which we came was generally destitute 
of water ; but that, on account of our object, no w^ant 
of water had been permitted on this occasion. 
Thermometer, at half-past eight a.m., 92° : at one p.m., 
106" : at two, 103°. 

May 22, 1839 — Yesterday, our guide left us : to him 
we gave letters for INIocha, Cairo, London, Basle, and 
Barmen. We left Mullu about sunrise, and moving 
south-west over a plain, arrived, at half-past nine, at a 
place called ^Vuderdera, about two houi's and a half 
distant from ]\Iullu. Thence we set out at about half- 
past three p.m., and jom'ueyed south-west till eight, 
when the old man said we could not reach the water 
stage, Korde'eti, that night. This morning, half an 
hour after we started, we arrived at the water stage, 
Korde'eti, where we took in a supply, and also watered 
the animals. Pi'oceeding onward, we soon reached the 
village Korde'eti, and alighted after we had passed it. 
Before us, to the north-west, we saw the Baadu and Aialu 
mountains. Those of Aialu are of considerable height. 
Ali Ai-ab stated, that on some part of these mountains 
a bloody sku'mish had taken place last year, between 


the Debcnik We'emas and the Mudiatus ; in which the 
latter had 700 killed, the former 140. IMahomed 
Ali's statement varied in the number : he said, Mudai- 
tus 1500, We'emas 120. In their wars, the Debenik 
Vv'e'emas always make common cause with the Issa 
Somals against the Mudaitus, in which event the Issa 
Somals amount to one third of their number. South- 
west of us is the Gcbel Achmar, or the Galla moun- 
tains. The land between us and that mountain is an 
undulating plain, said to extend from the banks of 
the Hawash as far as Berbera. Thermometer, at one 
P.M., 110". 

May 23 — We remained yesterday at Korde'eti, it 
being the last place of the tribe of We'cma. Here we 
drank milk, and our new guide Sheik Ali engaged 
some people of the place to accompany vis ; because, 
he said, the journey before us was very dangerous, Wc 
started this morning about a quarter-past five, and 
descended gradually, in a south-west direction through 
the valley, till half-past nine ; then stopped at the dry 
bed of a small brook in the plain, along which numer- 
ous mimosas were growing, and put uj) under a large 
tree of this kind. The name of this stage is Metta. 
Thermometer, near eleven, 98". At this very moment 
we see, at about a quarter of an hour^s distance, several 
whirling columns of dust, like smoke ; giving the 
countrjf the appearance of a manufacturing town with 
numerous huge steam-engines at work. The air is 
very hazy ; and there is a mist on the ground, seeming 


to cover the mountains from top to bottom. Thermo- 
meter, at half-past twelve, lOS- : wind north-east, 

Mmj 24, 1839— We left Metta yesterday at half-past 
three p.m. ; and marching almost west over the plain 
where we have put up, passed by the village Metta, 
and afterward saw herds of large and small cattle. 
After seven, we came to the village Kummi ; and about 
an hour later, encamped near a deserted and ruined 
village of the Bedouins. Although we were in want 
of water, and the watering-place, as the people said, 
was yet at a great distance, still the old man could not 
be induced to proceed. Consequently, we lay down to 
rest, and set off this morning at a quarter-past five ; and, 
pursuing our course over the same plain, west-south- 
west, saw to the left, at a little distance. Mount Afrabat ; 
to the west of which is joined the small mountain Farsis ; 
and north-west of this ]\Iount Assabot ; all inhabited 
by Ittoos. To the right we saw the high land of Shoa 
and Efat. The plain on which we travelled terminated 
in a dale overgrown with grass and trees. Here we 
passed a village inhabited by Dabanis, and gained an 
eminence, where we met a woman and her child riding 
on a camel, laden with her Bedouin tent. She showed 
us the way to the encamping place of a caravan, M'hich 
was awaiting our an-ival. At about half-past ten we 
reached this stage, situated near the watering-place, 
Hamuissa, from which this whole region derives its 
name; and here we found the caravan. They left 


TadjuiTa on the day of our arrival there, and did not 
arrive here till yesterday evening. Our people had 
long been desiring to join them; and therefore sent 
word to them yesterday, in consequence of which they 
said they had waited for us to-day ; otherwise, they 
would have gone on before. We shall now most likely 
travel together the rest of our journey : oiu* new com- 
panions say they will henceforward travel quicker than 
they have done hitherto. This region abounds with 
elephants, which come in great numbers to the water 
in the night, and suffer no man to approach it. The 
caravan entreated us to shoot them ; but we felt no in- 
clination to do so. Thermometer this morning at five, 
69° : during the afternoon, 105°. Early in the morn- 
ing it is very cool : the warm winds generally blow till 
late in the night. 

May 25, — We started this morning at six, and 
moved nearly due west, over a fine plain full of grass and 
trees. Since yesterday, we have noticed a large fii-e on 
this plain, which is not yet extinguished. On asking 
the cause of it, they said, that it came of itself. At 
nine, we put up near the village Mullu ; which is called 
Little Mullu, to distinguish it from Great Mullu. This 
village is surrounded by very high grass, reaching 
higher than the head of a man on horseback, and excel- 
ling in luxuriance the finest cornfields. It had been 
agreed upon, that we should repose here for the morn- 
ing, and resume our journey in the evening, to travel 
throughout the night, in order to reach the Hawash 


soon : liowever, on arriving, we heard that we were to pass 
the night here, and not to set out before next morning, 
as the caravan was in fear of the G alias. They alleged 
that a battle was soon expected to take place between 
the Danakils and the Gallas ; and that as the Gallas 
make their invasions only by night, they chose rather 
to travel during the day. These people alter their 
statements so many times, that one cannot rely on 
them ; and by being so apprehensive, give evidence of 
the truth, that he who does not know and serve the 
True God, can have no confidence in Jiis ideal God. 

To-day we happened to have a little elephant-hunt- 
ing. Soon after we had encamped, four of these ani- 
mals, three small ones, and one of a larger size, were 
seen near the camp imder a tree in the grass. The 
people entreated iis for a long time to shoot at them ; 
the more so, as they were afraid of their causing some 
damage to the men or the beasts. We observed them 
for some time, from a tree, standing and swinging their 
broad flapping ears, and tlirowing up dust with their 
trunks, as if to defy us. At length, Warkieh, who had 
been engaged at other times in elephant-hunting, 
grew impatient, took a gun, and went toward them, 
accompanied by Brother Krapf and Ernst, who station- 
ed themselves under a tree at a certain distance from 
the elephants. Warkieh, however, was the only one 
who could shoot, as the grass was too high for the 
others. He fired twice with Brother Krapf s double- 
barrelled gun ; and, at the second shot, hit the larger 


elephant, who shook himself. U])on this, a smaller 
one, which stood under another tree, took to his heels ; 
and then all fled away. 

This region apparently abounds in wild beasts. We 
bought a zebra-hide for live needles and a few pepper- 
corns. The zebra was said to have been killed here- 
abouts ; and our people pretended to have heard the 
voice of one last night. We got plenty of milk to-day, 
for needles, pepper, and snuff. The people were par- 
ticularly eager for the snuff. All day we are surrounded 
by people : their conduct, however, is not at all extra- 
vagant. It is a pity that we cannot declare to them 
the tidings of the Gospel. Thermometer, at half-past 
four P.M., 102". 

May 26, 1839 : Lord's Day — To-day we have again 
had an undesired-for day of rest ; as the caravan whicli 
we joined the day before yesterday have desired our 
people to stay here till they obtain some camels, for 
which they have sent to a neighbouring village. As we 
objected to staying, our people observed, that we were 
under some obligation to the caravan, as they had first 
waited for us, in order that we might travel together 
through this dangerous country ; so we have agreed 
to wait till this afternoon, and then to proceed, should 
the caravan obtain the camels or not. They are all in 
gi'eat fear; because yesterday three Mudaitus wci'c 
here, whom they apprehendcid to be spies. 

The German hymn, " My Saviour receiveth sinners," 
is now continually upperaiost in mind; and it is particu- 



larly consolatory for me to know that the blood of Jesus 
Christ cleanseth me from all my innumerable sins which 
still cleave to me. To whom could I direct myself, in 
order to find rest and safety, if this blood did not con- 
stantly speak better thijigs than that of Abel ? The 
tvhole head is sick, and the ivhole heart faint. Sancti- 
fication advances so slowly, that it seems rather to re- 
trograde. Nevertheless, the Lord has called me to 
glorify Him before the world. 

The constant necessity of insisting upon the fulfil- 
ment of the stipulated agreements with om- fellow-tra- 
vellers, in order to prevent unnecessary delay, gives 
much nourishment to the natm-al man, and many occa- 
sions for the excitement of unholy passions. This, 
however, is our consolation, that the Lord is ever ready 
to receive us back, and does not take away from vis His 
Holy Spirit — the spirit of faith, of power, and disci- 
pline. — Thermometer yesterday evening, near nine 
o^ clock, 73°: this morning, after sunrise, 66*. The night 
was pretty cool, although the day was hot : ten minutes 
past eleven, 104o, Diseases of the eyes are vei-y com- 
mon in this country, no doubt occasioned principally 
by the dust, with Avhich the atmosphere is constantly 
tilled. A strong whirl of dust came about our tent, 
and overtm-ned it, just after we had left it. 

Ma7/ 27, 1839 — Yesterday, at three p.m., we left Little 
Mullu, and journeyed again over a large plain, which at 
first we found covered with high grass, and afterward 
with scattered bushes : the soil on the whole appeared 


fertile. Now and then we met also with an elephant. 
We marched till half-past eighty and passed the night 
at Berduda — so another part of this vast plain is called. 
Here several Bedouins had set up their huts, but most 
of them left again this morning. Some Chiefs of another 
Dankali tribe — Takil — came to us, to beg tobacco. 
This, as it appears, induced our old guide Ali to hasten 
away the sooner. Other Dankali tribes, inhabiting these 
regions, are the following : — to the west of the We'emas, 
the Dabanis, who extend very far; in the district of Ha- 
muissa, the Mashaikh and Hassoba, among whom also 
the Takils live. 

We left Berduda this morning at half-past five, and 
crossed the other part of the plain, Ilalakdiggi, W^e 
saw much game, especially large roes, also two ostriches ; 
and, a little before nine, arrived at a place called Hanni, 
where we found water and trees, and here reposed. 
Our people, as well as the caravan who accompany us, 
are in great fear of an attack, and urge us continually 
to have our guns in readiness. We occasionally tell 
them of the necessity of a higher protection ; but all 
men have not faith in such a protection. Our journey 
is, after all, very tedious and trying. Our course, at 
present, is almost due west. The night again cool. 
Thermometer, at half-past twelve p.m., 100". 

May 28 — We started at ten minutes ])ast two at 
night, and marching westward, over a barren part of the 
plain, soon arrived at Great Halakdiggi : thence we 
crossed an eminence, shortly after sunrise, from which 

D 2 


the mountains of Shoa clearly presented themselves to 
our view. We felt our hearts tuned to praise our God, 
who had mercifully guided us until now, and brought us 
so near to the close of our perilous journey. From this 
eminence we descended into the low country of Little 
Halakdiggi, where our caravan was to halt. Sheik Ali, 
however, was for going on ; and he prevailed. After 
passing through the valley of Little Halakdiggi, we as- 
cended a hill belonging to the chain of mountains 
which forms the eastern skirt of the valley of Hawash ; 
then came down into the deep and wide valley of the 
Hawash, in which we had been able to discern, from the 
eminence, some parts of the course of this river. At 
the foot of the mountain the road lay through a forest 
of mimosa trees, from which our people collected a good 
quantity of gum-arabic ; and then encamped on a spot 
called Debhille, near which the trees on one side of the 
valley are hung with the nests of small birds, some- 
times forty to fifty on one tree. 

Mai/ 29, 1839 — We started at a quarter-past four 
this morning, and pursuing a south-west course to the 
Hawash, reached that river at a quarter-past six, by a 
road winding through a fine forest, abounding with 
plants and various kinds of animals. Numerous herds 
of elephants apparently reside in these regions, as we 
often found the fresh traces of them on our road. We 
also heard the braying of a zebra, and the noise of hip- 
popotami by the shores of the Hawash; but saw neither. 
In crossing the Hawash, I saw some trees crowded with 


baboons, an animal I had not seen before in Abyssinia. 
We crossed the Hawash near Melkukuyu. Although 
this is the dry season, yet the water was from two to 
four feet deep. The breadth of the channel is about 
sixty feet ; and the heights of its banks, as far as we 
could judge, averaged fifteen to twenty feet. Both sides 
are covered with beautiful forests ; the breadth of which 
however, in this part, is inconsiderable. The river runs 
north and north-east. We could not ascertain the 
situation of its source. The shore to the right is in- 
habited by the Alias, Ittoos, and Mudaitus; and to 
the left, by the Danakils, who border on Shoa eastward. 
From this part, where it has the Argubbas on one side, 
and the jMudaitus on the other, the river flows as far 
as Aussa ; and there collects in a vast plain, probably 
because the land ceases to decline, and forms a large 
lake, the waters of which either evaporate, which is 
more probable, or escape by a subterranean outlet. At 
this place the water is said to be putrid, to emit an 
offensive smell, and is disagreeable to the taste ; but, 
on digging near the lake, good water may be obtained. 
On the maps, which in general mark oui- road incor- 
rectly, the Ittoos, among other errors, arc made to in- 
habit the western, instead of the eastern shore of the 
Hawash, south of om' route : farther south, the Abarras 
adjoin them ; and still farther, the Alias, and other 
Galla tribes. At noon, after dinner, we went to see a 
small lake west of the Hawash, which is about ten 
miles long and five broad. There we saw as many 


as a hundi'ed hippopotami playing in the water. We 
fired a few guns at them : after each shot^ they sud- 
denly plunged into the water; and on coming up 
again, they blew a stream of water out of their nostrils, 
like whales, and snorted like horses. There are also 
many crocodiles in this lake — ^leviathan and behemoth 
dwelling together. Our people pierced a crocodile nine 
feet long, which lay in the water near the shore. This 
region is very prolific for a natm'alist. 

May 31, 1839 — Yesterday morning, at a quarter-past 
four, we set off from Melkukuyu, and marched over a 
hilly track near a small lake, the waters of which have a 
disagreeable taste and sulphureous smell. On account of 
its remarkable cleansing quality, our people had washed 
their clothes very clean in it the preceding day : we 
could not bestow on it a closer examination. As we 
proceeded, we first met with a few hysenas, then a zebra, 
but all beyond the reach of our guns. The region 
through which we have come is called Dofan. After 
passing through several forests abounding with game, 
and rendered lively by the warbling notes of a great 
variety of birds, about nine we reached a larger lake, 
in which hippopotami are said to abound ; but we 
did not see one. Its name is Le Adoo (far-distant 
water). Thence we pursued our road westward, and 
alighted about eleven at Asseboti, in a large sandy 
plain full of acacias. Setting out again at half-past 
three p. m., we left the caravan behind, and encamped 
in the evening at Atkonti. On the road we saw several 


be'ezas, a fine animal of the size of a cow, and shaped 
like a deer, with horns, not branching, but upright : 
their flesh is exquisite. This region resembles a cactus 
garden. We started at a quarter-past foui- this morn- 
ing ; and after sunrise entered a fine valley called Ko- 
kai, with lofty trees, excellent water, abundance of 
cattle, and a great variety of birds. Mter crossing 
several hills, the prominences of the highlands of Abys- 
sinia, which extend from the south far northward, 
about eight we reached the fi-ontier place, Dinomali ; 
where we were visited, soon after our arrival, by Soli- 
man ]\Iussa, the collector of customs, and Abbagaz INIa- 
homed, the governor of the boundary, who came to 
inspect our persons and baggage. They were accom- 
panied by Debtera Tekla Zion, the secretary for the 
salt-trade. During this transaction, the Haji Adam 
came, the same man whom Brother Krapf had seen 
last year in Mocha in the character of royal mes- 
senger, saying that he was again on his way to 
Mocha, and had a Letter and a female slave for us : he 
soon brought both. Om- conscience did not allow 
us to accept the slave, so she was sent back to Anko- 
bar. The Letter was directed to me : it respected the 
King's and my owti former mission ; expressed the 
King's desire for medicine, a gun, masons, &c., and, if 
possible, my own personal arrival ; and contained, at 
the same time, the promise, that all my wishes, which I 
should present to the King, should be gratified ; but 
made no allusion to our Missionary labours. This 


meeting was quite providential, but connected with no 
small difficulty to us botli. A Letter was now despatched 
to the King, stating, that the two persons to whom the 
message of the Haji Adam was directed, had arrived. 
Quarters were then assigned to us in the village of 
Farri, till an answer should arrive from the King, when 
we might pursue om- jommey. 

June 2, 1839 — To-day we set off fi'om Farri, and began 
to ascend the high land of Shoa. We crossed a few 
promontories and valleys, the two rivers Hatshani and 
J\Ielka Jebdu, and reached a village and district called 
AHu Amba, situated on a steep rock, where we met the 
first Christian Governor, Yaunatu, who was glad to 
receive us as Christians. Here we were obliged to 
leave our companion Warkieh to rest a little till he 
should be able to follow us, as he had been suffering 
for several days from great pain in his back. 

Ju7ie 3 — To-day we took other porters and asses from 
this place, Aliu Amba — our jom*ney from Farri being at 
the King's expense — and ascended the high mountain, 
on one of the summits of which Ankobar, the capital of 
the country, is situated. We crossed over a ridge of 
this mountain, which commanded an extensive view on 
each side : toward the east, the vast plain over which 
we had come, and beyond the Hawash ; and toward 
the west Shoa, to a great distance. We went round 
one side of the summit on which Ankobar lies, and 
passed through a part of the town. The houses are 
constructed chiefly of wood, with thatched roofs, gene- 


rally surrounded by a garden, and disposed around the 
cone in a spiral form. The upper part of the town is 
hedged in vriih long poles connected by sprigs as by 
pallisades, and on the top is the King's house, built of 
stone and mortar, with a thatched roof. The situation, 
the rich vegetation, in a cool vernal, or almost autum- 
nal, atmosphere, pvit us in an extasy. The King had 
given orders that we should be brought quickly to 
him, and as he was at Angollala, a day's journey from 
Ankobar, we could not remain. We passed over stony 
roads, on the side of some mountains, and crossed an 
elevated valley, through which a crystal rivulet purled 
which set in motion a mill, the construction of which, 
had been begun by a Greek mason, named Demetrius, 
by order of the King, but was not yet completed. 
We breathed alpine air, and drank alpine water. We 
then ascended another high mountain, where we met 
with many alpine plants, and camomile and pennyroyal 
densely strewed the ground. The top of the mountain 
was covered chiefly with barley fields, almost ripe for 
the harvest. We put up at a poor little village, called 
Metatit, in a straw hut, or rather stable, in which large 
and small cattle lay mixed together with men, and 
where the smoke arising from the burning of cow-dung 
and cane was so offensive, that only the cold without 
compelled me to sleep in it, while Brother Krapf and 
Ernst crept into a small round sheep-stall. The ther- 
mometer dm-ing the night could not have been umch 
above 40^ 

D 5 


Ju7ie 7, 1839 — This morning we left Metatit^ and 
pursuing our road westward, over undulating table-land, 
halted about one o'clock p. m. in a raised valley near 
Islam Amba, where the King's tent, of an oblong form, 
and of black coarse stuff, was already pitched to re- 
ceive him, who was expected to come this way, and 
to pass the night here on his jom-ney from Angollala 
to Ankobar, to a tescar (anniversary) of the death of 
his father, Wussen Segged, who died twenty-eight 
years ago. AYe were not long encamped before we 
saw a train of horsemen coming down the mountain 
westward, and in the midst of them the King, over 
whose head a scarlet canopy was carried. He had no 
sooner arrived in his tent than he sent for us. We 
had prepared our presents, and with palpitating hearts 
entered his tent, where he sat on a small di^'an covered 
with silk, and received us mth kindness. Oui* names 
were already kno^vn among his people ; and a messen- 
ger whom he had once sent with Kiddam Mariam to 
Gondar to meet us, inquired after JMr. Blumhardt. I 
first presented to him the Letter of Colonel Camp- 
bell, which I had translated into Amharic on board 
the vessel : he perused it ^^"ith attention. We then de- 
livered oui' presents, among which the beautiful copy 
of the Amharic New Testament and Psalms particu- 
larly pleased him. He seemed to intimate, however, 
that he would have preferred ^thiopic books to Anilia- 
ric. He asked if we had ^^Titten and bound these 
books. He put the same question to Mr. Krapf when 


he presented him his double-barrelled gun. We rc- 
phed, that in our country every one pm-sues his parti- 
cular profession, and that our vocation was exclusively 
the preaching of the Gospel, in which capacity we were 
alone sent out to this country ; but that besides this, 
we wished also to instruct his people in other useful 
branches, and were ready to assist such as should re- 
quire and wish it, with medical aid to the best of our 
knowledge. We m-ged, however, that this latter was 
not om' object, except as a means to fui'ther the know- 
ledge of Christ. He then ordered all the attendants to 
depart, and explaining to us his bodily ailments, asked 
whether we could relieve him. ^Ye promised gladly to 
do for him whatever lay in our power ; but added, that 
the result did not so much depend on the remedies as 
on the blessing of God, for which we wovdd pray. He 
then observed, that with regard to our principal object, 
he would have further conversation with us in future, 
as there were a gi-eat many things to be considered re- 
lative to this subject ; for the present, he wished only 
to see and salute us, and was very glad that we were 
here. He ordered us in the meanwhile to go to our 
tent and repose, and the follo^nng day to proceed to 
Angollala, where he would see us again immediately 
after his return from Ankobar. We were gratified with 
the reception we met with, and although the King did 
not for the present enter into om* principal object, wc 
have sufficient reason to thank God. He commanded 
his people to serve us, to treat iis as his guests and 


friends, and to provide us with every thing necessary. 
He also gave us a servant, who had strict orders to keep 
off from us all importunate people, that we might not 
be annoyed in any way. 

June 8, 1839 — This morning, very early, the King 
started with his suite for Ankobar, and we proceeded to 
Angollala, where we arrived at two p.m. Not long after, 
the King came back, immediately assigned to us a 
dwelling, and sent us a cow, which we killed. 

June 9 : Lord's Day — Very early this morning 
we were called by the King, who asked us for medi- 
cine. We told him, that our particular business was 
to teach and preach the Gospel, and that we were no 
learned physicians ; but that if he desired, we would 
assist him with medicine according to the best of om* 
knowledge. At the same time we took the opportunity 
to request him to give us a number of boys, in order 
that we might instruct them in the doctrines of the 
Bible, and in other useful branches of knowledge. He 
promised to comply ■v\'ith our request. We thought it 
as well to make this application, in order to show him, 
at the commencement of our stay in his country, the 
good intentions we have for the welfare of his people. 

June 10 — Very early in the morning we were again 
called by the King, who repeated his desire for medical 
assistance. Om- conversation yesterday ha\ing turned 
to geographical subjects, we took with us to-day a globe 
and maps, to give him an idea of Geography. He was 
pleased with all that we explained to him ; but at last 


he said, that he was too old to study such subjects. 
\Mien we had retired to our lodging, Beru, the favoui-ite 
boy of the King, came to us and said, that we should 
not give medicine to anybody, else the people would 
come and molest us very much. 

June 12 — This afternoon we made our acquaintance 
with Maretsh, an influential Governor of the tribe of 
the Abedtshoo Gallas. As we wdsh to become acquaint- 
ed with the Galla people, we were glad to know him. 
He asked for medicine, which IMr. Isenberg promised 
to give him, if he would adhere to the diet which he 
prescribed to him. But as he refused to do this, he 
did not receive any medicine. The tribe of Abedt- 
shoo has its seat in the neighbom-hood of Angollala, 
from which place it is separated by the river Tshatsha. 
In the house of Maretsh we met with several boys, 
one of whom, Wolda Gabriel, expressed his wish to come 
to us for instruction. We asked him what he knew 
about Jesus Christ, and why he was called a Christian. 
He was confused, and said, " I do not know ; but I 
wish to be instracted by you." Mr. Isenberg then 
briefly related to him the history of Christ. This boy 
came several times afterward ; but at last he excused 
himself, saying, that he had business in the service of 
the King, and left ofi" coming for instruction, like many 
others, who came expecting to receive medicine, clothes, 
strings of silk, which they use in sign of their Chris- 
tian faith, scissors, knives, needles, &c. Begging is 


not SO frequent in Slioa as it is in Tigre ; but in gene- 
ral they liave the same character. 

We have had several interviews with the King the 
last three days. He wishes to make use of us as phy- 
sicians, architects, artists, &c. However, we told him 
that if we served him in these things to the extent of 
our power, which was veiy limited, we shoidd do it 
only for the sake of the Lord and His Gospel ; and 
requested him to give us an opportunity to preach the 
Gospel, and to instruct the youth. His usual reply is, 
" I know this, and shall consult with you about it by 
and bye." 

June 13, 1839 — This morning we met with the King 
at the place of judgment. He was sitting on an elevated 
spot, and the persons, who had complaints or business 
were standing at the entrance of the King's house. 
Four Judges sit to hear the complaints of the people, 
and decide upon them. If their decision should not 
please the King, he himself decides. In giving judg- 
ment, he spends several days every week. Ha\'ing seen 
the manner in which the King gives judgment, we 
were then introduced to his workmen. Blacksmiths, 
weavers, and other tradesmen are gathered mthin a 
large place, where each of them performs the piece of 
work assigned to him; which, having finished, he is 
obliged to show to the King, who, if not pleased with it, 
orders him to improve it. Thus the King could in a 
short time improve the state of arts in his kingdom, if 
he had a few skilful tradesmen from Europe. 


June l-i — 16 — Since the King gave orders to us not 
to give away medicine^ we have been hke prisoners, not 
being able to converse with any one. However, we 
yield to these circumstances, if the King will only 
send us boys to instruct. In the meantime, we are not 
without business. I am occupied with iEthiopic and 
Amharic studies, and Mr. Isenberg is writing about 
Geography. Several days ago, the Alaca (director) of 
the Chm-ch of INIedhanalim at Ankobar was sent by 
the King, to study our language. Mr. Isenberg began 
to instruct him ; but after several lessons, he expressed 
his wish to be taught Geography. We had rather in- 
troduce to him biblical studies ; but his mind is still 
not di-awn to the great subjects of the Holy Scrip- 
tures. The name of this Alaca is Wolda Serat. It is 
remarkable, that we should have at first to do with an 
iUaca of a jNIedhanalim Church. At Adowah, the Alaca 
of Medhanalim, was the man who endeavoured to ex- 
pel us from the country ; and in Shoa, an Alaca of 
Medhanalim is our first scholar. Geography, it is true, 
is not enough to enlighten the Abyssinian people ; but 
we must act as circumstances require. If we cannot 
preach the Gospel in a direct way, wc must do it in- 
directly. To the various branches of knowledge. Scrip- 
ture truth may in many ways be legitimately connected. 
All is ours, if we are Christ's, who will in His own 
time open a way for freely preaching His word. 

June 17 — This morning, Beru, the King's boy, 
came, asking us, in the name of his master, whether 


we understood liow to prepare sugar and brandy. 
We answered as on a former occasion, and repeated 
our request to receive boys for the pui'pose of in- 
structing them; and that we would then serve the 
King as far as we could. Bern went away ; but re- 
turned immediately to fetch our kitchen-vessels, which 
the King wished to see. At the same time, he longed 
for a European dish, and begged us to wTite down as 
far as we knew how to prepare one. Having answered 
that we could not meddle with such matters, we re- 
quested our servant to serve the King in this respect. 
He was immediately called to prepare a dinner. The 
King is anxious to get from Europeans all that he 
sees and hears. It is, however, to be regretted, that 
he only endeavom's to consult his own personal ad- 
vantage and comfort, without reflecting upon the wel- 
fare of his people. Well qualified mechanics of all 
kinds are well received by the King; but they dare 
not expect European wages. They receive their daily 
maintenance, but that is all. I am sure that skilful 
artisans who are real Christians, would render great 
services to our Mission. How much the King seeks 
after his own interest, the following instances will 
prove. No man in Shoa, except the King, is allowed 
to prepare the Abyssinian hydromel, which is called 
Zatsli — prepared from water, honey, and a plant, 
named zadoa. Fm'thermore, an Albanese, whose 
name is Johanes, who was formerly a Mahomedan, and 
turned a Christian in Shoa, built a bridge over the 


king's selfishness. 65 

river Beresa ; but nobody^ except the King, is allowed 
to pass over it, even at the rainy season. This 
year fom* persons have been drowoied in the river. 
Farther, he levies high customs upon goods. From 
ten pieces of salt, he takes one ; from ten dollars, 
one is paid to him. By these measm-es commerce 
is stopped. Demetrius, a Greek, built a mill ; but 
nobody can use it. These are only a few instances 
among many others which might be mentioned. But 
it is to be hoped, that the King will discontinue 
such measures, when he has become more acquainted 
with Em'opeans. At present he is too narrow-minded, 
follo-snng the principles of all other rulers of Abyssinia. 
In some respects, he is inferior to them ; attacking, for 
instance, a Galla tribe without sufficient reasons, taking 
their property, and selling the captives as slaves to Tad- 
jm*ra. He repeats this cruel custom every year, when 
the rainy season is over. In this manner he has en- 
larged his dominions. The country which he has taken 
in war, is said to be thirty times greater than Shoa 

To-day I sent the Amharic Spelling Book to the 
King, which I had finished yesterday. The King wishes 
for many things from us : he seems only disposed to 
decUne accepting the one thing needful. As he in- 
tends to set out after to-morrow on an expedition, we 
have urged him to give us previously a decision, as to 
how far he would assist us in our work, and to give us 
four or six bovs for instruction. 


June 18, 1839 — To-day is a festival of the Abys- 
sinians, that of St. Michael. On this clay the King 
gives clothes to his slaves, who are several hundi'eds 
in number. IVIany persons came before our house, 
begging for clothes. We offered them bread, which 
they refused to accept : others begged for medicine. 

June 19 — On learning that the King is about to leave 
Angollala, we repeated our request for boys to instruct 
them. He sent word, that he would send them from 
the city he intended to build in the tribe of the Abed- 
tshoo. Bekoo, the Governor of the Galla tribe, called 
Adai, applied for medicine, being tormented, as he ima- 
gined, by a bad genius. Mr. Isenberg bled him, after 
which he felt better ; but he soon fell back into his 
former state, which increased so much, that his people 
were compelled to tie him. 

June 20 — This morning the King set out to build 
a city. We took leave of him on the road. Observing 
us, he stood still a moment, and said, " How do you 
do ? " We praise God that He has disposed the heart 
of the King toward us. Before he left Angollala, he 
sent his boy several times, who said, that the King con- 
sidered us as his relations : yea, as brethren ; and that, 
henceforth, we should make him acquainted with all our 
requests, and he would attend to them. Knowing the 
expressions of the Abyssinians, we do not lay too much 
stress upon them ; however, we see his good feelings 
toward us. He has sent to us from time to time, a 
sheep, or a cow, or something else. As all the people of 


the King are obliged to go wdtli liim, several boys, with 
whom I had begun to read the Gospel of St. INIatthew, 
have left our instruction. Knowing how little can be 
done in instraction, if boys are not continually with us, 
we lu'ged the King many times to send boys with whom 
we could begin a regular course. The Alaca Wolda 
Serat comes every day, being much pleased with Geo- 
graphy. He is possessed of a good memory, and of 
much understanding ; but his heart is still far from the 
truth of the Gospel. 

June 21 — To-day it rained for the first time since 
our arrival in Shoa. Strong whirls of dust had pre- 
dicted its approach. We learned to-day, that the King 
is building a city, which he intends to call "■ Salaish.^^ 
When he builds a new city, he causes a long trench to 
be dug around the place where he mshes to build ; then 
constructs a wall, builds several houses of wood, and 
delivers the city to a new governor, having with him a 
number of soldiers. In this manner, the King intends 
to secui'e his frontiers against the inroads of the Gallas. 
Thus Angollala itself has arisen. New settlers arrive, 
a church is built by the King, and a large village is 
seen in a short time. 

June 22 — This day is the feast of Kidan Meherat. 
Several learned Abyssinians say, that God appeared in 
paradise before iVIary, and made a covenant with her, 
in consequence of which she should redeem the world. 
Others say, that Christ made this covenant with His 
mother, in the month of Februaiy, during the time of 


sixteen days. How little do this people know of the 
real covenant of grace, which God has made from the 
beginning with mankind to bless it in Christ ! 

June 24, 1839 — This morning I i-equested my mule 
from Ayto Melkoo, the master of the horse ; to whose 
care the King had committed our mules. He refused 
to send it however, without having a special order from 
the King. Thus we are not masters of our property. 
Every thing, even the most trifling, is subject to the 
will of the King. A cup of wmo. cannot be given to a 
foreigner without his command. He has at present 
about two hundi'ed persons, who receive their daily 
maintenance from him. The daily maintenance is called 

June 26 — The Alaca Wolda Serat told us this morn- 
ing, that the Abyssinians are of opinion, that St. Mat- 
thew \^Tote his Gospel in Hebrew, St. Mark in Latin, 
and St. Luke and St. John in Greek. He then asked, 
whether we believed that Adam was seven years in the 
garden of Eden. We replied, that we did not know, 
as the Scriptm'es say nothing about it ; and that we did 
not acknowledge their book Senafehat, on which that 
opinion rests, as divinely inspired. AYe took this op- 
portunity of showing the great difference there is be- 
tween the Word of God, and that of men ; and how 
dangerous it is to mix both together. Our confession 
that we did not know, and that we are in these things 
not so wdse as the Abyssinians, who have another Bible 
than we have, confused him very much. When he went 


away, a priest of Biilga called upon us, asking imme- 
diately — as most Abyssinians do — about fasting. We 
told him, that we did not forbid fasting, if a man felt 
himself disposed so to do ; that we declared it a great 
sin, if a man sought for his righteousness by fasting, 
as our justification comes only from the merit of Christ, 
which we apprehend by faith, resigning all our ot\^i 
work ; and that if we seek our justification before God 
by fasting and other exercises, Christ would not then 
be our complete SaAaom*. The priest answered, " But 
Christ fasted j therefore we must do the same." I said, 
that Christ's fasting was meritorious ; that He did not 
command that we in all things should do the same, 
else we should also be obliged to die on the cross as 
he had done. We cannot follow Him in all that He 
did; because He acted, in many cases, as oiu- Mediator ; 
and that what He did as such, we have only to accept 
with a real faith, and to praise Him for the same. He 
requires, that we mourn for our sins, — that we seek 
His grace and the Holy Spirit, — that we flee from all 
sin, and hate all sinful thoughts, words, and works ; 
because these have caused numberless pains to Him in 
His meritorious fasting for us. Furthermore, Christ 
does not require that we should die on the cross, but 
that we should die to the sin which is in om- hearts. 
This is the real fast and the death which He requires 
from eveiy behever in Him. ^Ye then explained to 
him Matthew ix. 14 — 18., which we usually do, if the 
matter is about fasting, remarking, that a real believer 


does not follow the pharisees^ who fasted in order to 
be justified ; but that he followed Christ and His 
disciples — that Christ, the heavenly bridegroom, is in 
the hearts of believers, and always with them — that 
they look upon His merits, and know what He has done 
for them, and therefore they cannot mom-n ; but that if 
they mourn for their weakness and sinfulness, they 
know that they have an advocate ivith the Father, Jesus 
Christ the righteous. If they mom-n that they do not feel 
the presence of their master — as the Apostles mom-ned 
when their master was given into the hands of sinners 
— they know that He will come again and say to them, 
Peace he ivith you. "WTien Christ w^ent to heaven, it 
did not follow that He is not now wdth us, and therefore 
that we should fast, as the Abyssinians endeavom* to 
prove by the above-mentioned passage ; and that Christ 
is not far from us, but He is in om* hearts, if we accept 
Him in faith. But the Abyssinians, who have not Christ 
by faith, mourn as if He were far off, crucifying 
their flesh, not knowing the joy and peace of Christ ; 
and as if, by the mortification of their flesh, they would 
produce their reconciliation wdth God, which Christ had 
fully effected ; that the Abyssinians connect then* own 
righteousness with that of Christ, vmite Christ with 
Moses, grace mth the law, and the Spirit \nth the flesh ; 
and that they are like those who put new wine into old 
bottles, and new cloth on an old garment, where the 
rent is made worse ; as we see with the Abyssinians, 
who, though they mortify then- flesh by fasting, are 


living in all the sins of the flesh — in all fornication and 

June 27, 1839— This day it rained very much. I 
felt my heart in a confused state, and longed for the 
grace of heavenly rain. 

June 28 — I asked the Alaca Wolda Serat about the 
country of Sidama, mentioned by Mr. Gobat in his 
Jom-nal. He told me, that he did not know any thing 
about that country; but that he thought it was Segama, 
from which country many slaves are brought to Shoa. 
He then asked about om- chronology. I told him that 
we count 4004- years before Christ. The Abyssinians, 
he said, count 5500 years before Christ, which they 
prove from Luke i. 26, And, in the sixth month, the 
angel Gabriel was sent from God unto Mary. I said, 
that I did not wonder at such an opinion, as the Abys- 
sinians had not a sound exposition of Scriptm-e to rely 
upon, as they either followed human books, or wTcsted 
the sense of the passages of the Bible. I then referred 
him to the genealogy in Genesis v. 

June 30 : Lord's Day — I went this morning to the 
church. We think it necessary to go often, partly that 
they may not accuse us as despisers of their chiu'ch ; 
partly to become acquainted with the people and priests; 
and partly that we may become well acquainted with 
the manner of their worship. On coming to the door 
of the church, I was obliged to pull off my shoes. 
Having entered the church, I was requested to sit at 
the side of the Alaca, and received a long stick, which 


the priests cany with them, and on which they lean in 
church. All that they do in chm-ch, is to make a ter- 
rible bawling, which they call singing. Their hymns 
are contained in a book called Degua, which book is 
composed by an ancient teacher of their church, whose 
name is Fared, from Samien. In singing, they frisk 
and dance, beat together with their sticks, then with 
cymbals and di'ums. Their bawling is interrupted by 
reading a portion of Scripture. In fact, the whole 
seems to be rather a play than worship. 

July 1, 1839 — Very early this morning, I heard a 
loud cry in the neighbourhood of our house. On ask- 
ing what it was, I was told, that there were several 
persons who wished to make their complaints known to 
the King. They cried, Abiet ! Abiet ! It is the duty of 
the King's counsellors, who are called Wanberotsh, that 
is Deputies, to carry the complaints of the people before 
the King. In general, the four Wanberotsh decide 
themselves ; but they must always bring their decision 
before the King, who in other cases, relies upon them as 
his Deputies. With the cry, Abiet ! Abiet ! the Abyssi- 
nians connect a strange story. They say that the devil, 
on the day of judgment, mil cry in the same manner ; 
when the Lord will ask him what he requires from Him. 
The devil will answer, that the angels have taken from 
him a number of souls who belonged to him ; when the 
Lord will ask him their names, to which he will reply, "I 
do not know." The Lord vn\[ then answer, "If thou dost 
not know the name of the thieves, I cannot help thee.'' 


Since the King returned to Angollala^ several boys 
have returned to us for instruction ; but the King did 
not perform his former promise of sending boys. 

July 2 — This forenoon, a servant of Berkie, the Go- 
vernor of Bulga, came to us asking for medicine. His 
master is a Gebi, that is, a favourite of the King. 
Bulga is a considerable city on the southern frontiers 
of Shoa, and the capital of the province, vt^hich is 
called Fatigar on our maps. It is a day's journey 
from Ankobar to Bulga. How slowly our work is 
going on ! The people are seeking help only for the 
body, without reflecting much on the salvation of the 
soul. We take refuge in the precious Word of God, 
and hear the Prophet complaining about the same. 
/ have laboured in vain, and have spent my strength 
for nought, and in vain ; yet surely my judgment is 
with the Lord, and my work ivith my God. Isaiah 
xlix. 4. 

July 5 — We were called by the King, begging us to 
give him a medicine which should secure him against 
being wounded in war. Wc replied, that we did n(jt 
know a medicine of this kind ; and that our people 
obtained victory by trusting in God, by keeping a good 
discipline in the army, and by employing skilful com- 
manders. This caused a short exposition respecting 
military exercises in our country. He was much pleased 
on being informed about the formation of our quarries. 
The conversation then turned to the subject of our 
steamers, locomotives, and rail-roads. He expressed 



his astonishment at these works of human hands. 
After all, he apphed for magic sentences against sick- 
ness. Mr. Isenberg rephed, that this was a great sin, 
and entirely useless ; and that it was the duty of every 
sick person to put his confidence in God, and to use 
such remedies as God has given to men. 

July 6, 1839 — A man from Tigre, whose name is 
Akaloo, called upon us this afternoon. He has been 
several years in Shoa, and is often sent by the King to 
Gondar, and other places of Abyssinia. I learned 
from him, that in the neighbourhood of Ankobar, in 
a grove, there are a number of persons, about forty, 
who are followers of a sect called Tabiban. I suppose 
that they are Jews, of the sect of the Falashas in Am- 
hara. The people of Shoa are in great fear of them, 
like the people of Amhara, who consider the Falashas 
as sorcerers. Every skilful man in Shoa is called Ta- 
bib. I shall give more information of the Tabiban 

July 7 : Lord's day — The Lord was near to my 
heart this morning in reading His Word. Though we 
are without the blessings which our European brethren 
have on this day, yet the Lord is not far from us when 
seeking after Him in humble prayer and meditation on 
His Word. The Apostle John, who was banished 
from the society of his brethren to the desolate Isle 
of Patmos, urns there in the spirit on the Lord's 

July 8 — On inquiring this afternoon after the names 


of the villages around AngoUala, I received the follow- 
ing information : 1 . To the west is a village called 
Tsherkos. 2. Tophit to the north. 3. Daletsha to the 
north-east. 4. Koni biet, where formerly Gallas have 
been, who were converted by the present King of Shoa. 
5. Mutingensa. As nobody was with us, I began to 
read the Introduction to the Holy Scriptures, published 
by the Rev. Mr. Huber, of Basle. A well wTitten book 
of this kind in Amharic would be very useful to us. I 
may also remark, that a number of well written books 
in Amharic would be very desirable. It is not sufficient 
to put the Bible only into the hands of the people ; 
they are in want of books to illustrate its doctrines, 
else they read it only in the false hght of their 
traditions. If Messrs. Isenberg and Gobat could 
be charged by the Committee dui'ing their stay in 
Europe, to satisfy this want in some measure, a great 
senice would be rendered to the Mission in Shoa. 

To-day it is one month since om* arrival at Angollala, 
and to-morrow the King has settled that we should go 
to Ankobar. To-morrow we shall probably go as far as 
Debra Berhan, and from thence to Ankobar. 

Since I wrote the precechng, the King has employed 
me in instructing Alaca Serat — chief of the Church at 
Medhanalim, in Ankobar — whom he sent to us in- 
stead of the boys we had applied for, requesting us to 
instruct him. Upon asking the Alaca what he wished 
to learn, he said that he wished us to teach him our 
language. I began therefore teaching him English ; 

£ 2 


but then I discovered that his next object was merely 
the learning the names of the letters in the Amharic 
alphabet. Those names are given in Ludolf s Gram- 
mar, but are at present very seldom known in Abys- 
sinia ; so that it appears to them a new thing. After 
I had given him those names, I took the Bible to read 
with him. He then said, he knew that : he wished to 
learn something that he did not know. I then began 
instructing him in geography, for which purpose I 
commenced translating Frank's Geography, contracting 
some parts, and enlarging upon others ; giving the 
Alaca, every day, one or two lessons in geography, and 
a few lessons in English. He takes an interest in 
geography. In the translation, I have arrived at the 
end of Europe ; and in teaching, I am come to Prussia. 
I endeavour to render even this a means of communi- 
cating the Gospel to him, continually praying that the 
Lord may open his eyes : it is difficult to penetrate 
through the thick veil of his mind. When treating 
on parts of the Scriptures, he has always several expla^ 
nations at hand ; so that the word does not impress 
him. At the same time he is rich, and increased with 
goods, and seems to have need of nothing. May the 
Lord open his heart ! 

A Tigrcan, of the name of Akaloo, frequently comes 
to us, saying, that he wishes to learn ; and expressing 
himself ready to accept every thing good that we may 
say to him. Yesterday and to-day the Lord enabled 
me to Itiy before him the subject of his salvation : 


yesterday, by removing every pretext for excuse, and 
applying the parable of our Lord on the talents 
entrusted ; and to-day, by especially urging on him the 
necessity of a real conversion, and of prayer to God for 
the enlightening of his mind. 

As for the King, he continually gives proofs of his 
good will toward us, sho\^^ng at the same time, however, 
that it is in his temporal interest that he wishes to profit 
from what we know of the arts. On this account, he 
has several times applied to om- European servant to try 
what he knows. My knowledge of medicine does not 
entirely answer his desires, because he cannot take his 
usual diet when using medicine; nor does he receive any 
charming promises from me : on the contrary, he is told 
that the practice of medicine is with us only an incidental 
thing, not our chief object, although we have gained his 
confidence from some successful cases where we had 
administered medicine to others. At our last interview 
with the King, he promised, at our request, to send us 
boys to instruct them when at Ankobar. Our chief en- 
deavours are directed to our calling as Missionaries, and 
therefore we have been able at present to make but few 
enquiries into the nature of the country. Oui* external 
condition is rather singular : the King treats us quite 
as his guests, sending us daily our maintenance into 
our house, and has ordered our Guardian* to keep all 

* The Minister of Foreign Affairs, as you would call him, of the King 
of Shoa, has about 300 men in his service, who are to serve foreigners, 
and to be employed in messages for the King. These men are called Al- 


troublesome persons away from us. By this means we 
are not molested by disagi*eeable calls ; but, on the 
other hand, we are also prevented from frequently 
preachmg the Gospel iti season and out of season. 
We have, however, obtained a promise from the King, 
that such persons are not to be prohibited who express 
a desire to be instructed by us. 

The air here is pure, and the climate very fresh : the 
temperature varies from 47° to 60^ Fahrenheit, and 
since the middle of last month we have had rain once 
or t^\ice every day. At that time the King went to 
Salaish, where he made the first preparations for the 
building of a new town, remained there one week, and 
then returned hither to Angollala. 

The language of this country has some dialectical 
difference from the Amharic, as spoken in Amhara and 
Tigre, several sounds being different, and several words 
having a different signification. I write as much as 
I can of the Dictionary, noting down the differences. 

July 11, 1839— The Tribes of Gallas to the south 
of Shoa, which are tributary to the King of Shoa, 
are: 1. Abedtshoo ; 2. Adai; 3. Soddo; 4. Abbo; 
5. Sebauj 6. Tshidda; 7. Afsala; 8. Golan; 9. Mesta; 
10. Maitsha. Betsho and Ferrer, Avhich are in the 
south, are not tributary. Thus I am informed by the 
son of Bekoo, Governor of the tribe Adai. 

July 12 — This afternoon we went on an excursion to 

frotsh — Affro, in the singular, which I have rendered " Guardian," not 
having been able to ascertain the exact meaning of the term. 


see the before-mentioned river Tsliatsha^ situated about 
four miles from Angollala. We saw one of its cata- 
racts, about seventy feet in height. On the way I saw, 
for the first time, Enset, a nice plant, which is described 
in Bruce^s Travels. The Abyssinians use it in baking 
bread, which is wrapped in it, and gives to it a particular 
scent, which I do not like. The water of the Tshatsha 
runs in a deep dale between two mountains. The rivers 
Beresa and Tshatsha are said to go to the Nile. The 
Tshatsha separates the Gallas from Shoa. Thus we are 
on the frontiers of the heathen. The Lord grant that 
this heathenish nation, which has its seat in the centre 
of Africa, may soon become a people of God ! I hum- 
bly and urgently beg the Committee to give their help- 
ing hand to this nation. The way to a great part of 
the Gallas is accessible since the way to Shoa has been 
opened. The access to the Gallas is easier from Shoa 
than from any other place. We know about forty tribes 
of them by name. A great number of them are tribu- 
tary to Shoa. The Gallas are in a low state of heathen- 
ism. They have not priests, like other heathens ; but 
are opposed to the introduction of a new religion. 
They know only about a Being, whom they call 
Wake. They have no system of religion. On par- 
ticular occasions, they sacrifice a cow, or sheep, to the 
Wake ; but they are not directed to do so by priests : 
it is a free-will offering. The language is common to 
all Gallas. All these things seem to facilitate a Mission 
among them. A particular reason for attempting a 


jMission among the Gallas is, because we do not know 
what may be the result of om- INIission in Shoa. There 
is a village, called Tsherkos, on the Tshatsha, where, 
four years ago, the Christians were killed by a Gover- 
nor, who hav-ing fallen out with the King of Shoa, 
raised the Gallas against him. At fii'st, he attempted 
to assassinate the King ; but his son detected the pro- 
fligate design of his father before it was executed. 

July 13, 1839— To-day is the feast of the Abyssinians, 
called Selassie, at which time the King retm-ns to Anko- 
bar. We were therefore ordered to set out from An- 
gollala. We left this place with mixed feelings. On 
the one hand, we praised God that He had inclined the 
heart of the King of this country toward us ; and, on 
the other hand, we were dissatisfied mth the little work 
which we had been able to perform in om- holy object. 
But we walk hy faith, not by sight. We hope that oxu- 
means of usefulness will increase at Ankobar, and pray 
the Lord to open us a door to preach His Word. 

AVe set out from AngoUala about ten o'clock ; but 
being unable to reach Ankobar, we passed the night 
in a village called Metatit, on the Chacka mountain, 
about five miles from Ankobar. An old man received 
us into his house, in which men and animals were living 
together, and in a smoke which nearly suffocated us. 

July 14 — Tliis morning we arrived in safety at An- 
kobar. As we were about to enter the town, we were 
stopped by the people of the Governor, who told us 
that we must wait till the Governor had been informed 


of our arrival, and had given orders for us to enter. 
A foreigner cannot enter Ankobar without having 
received orders from the Governor. A messenger after- 
ward came from the Governor, and conducted us to 
our dwelling. 

E 5 





July 15, 1839 — This morning the King arrived at 
Ankobar : we paid our respects to him on his way to 
his house. 

July 16 — To-day the King sent his boy, requesting 
to know whether we understood how to stamp dollars. 
In reply, we begged to be introduced to the King. On 


appearing before hinij we said, as on a former occasion, 
that we were messengers of the Gospel interfering with 
no other business, and consequently were not qualified 
for coining money; but that if he gave orders, we should 
be glad to serve him, by T\Titing to om* friends in 
Eui'ope, who would render him every assistance they 
could, if he did not prevent us from teaching in his 
country. At the same time, Mr. Isenberg acquainted 
him of his resolution of leaving Shoa in the month of 
October, to go to Em'ope, where he would communicate 
to our fi'iends the wish of the King. He approved of 
all that we said. Having retired to our house, the 
King's boy came and conducted us to another house, 
in which the father of the King had formerly dwelt. 
We were very glad of this change, having been much 
molested by the people at our first house. On entering 
oui' new house, a ]\Iahomedan, whose name is Nasir, 
from a Galla tribe, called Daue, called upon us. He is 
the son of the Governor of his tribe, whose name is 
Abbe. He said, that Beroo, the ruler of Argobba, 
having taken from his father all his land, had fled for 
refuge to the King of Shoa, who restored him to his 
former power ; but that his country was tributary t(j 
Shoa. This man gave me the following information 
respecting the Gallas dwelling in the north of Shoa. 
The capital city of Beroo, the ruler of Argobba, who is 
dependant on Gondar, is Aineh, on the TshafFa river, 
which is called Bcrkona by the people of Shoa. The 
Tshaffa comes from the west, and sends its water to the 


Hawash, in the country of Adel. The Tshaffa river — 
so called by the Gallas — separates the northern Gallas 
from Shoa. There are the following Tribes : 1. Dane; 
2. WoUo; 3. Wara; 4. GafFra; 5. Wotshale; 6. Sako; 
7. Bottolloj 8. Tehuladere; 9. Gille ; 10. Assallo ; 
11. Assubo; 12. Lagagora ; 13. Gama ; 14. Sagambo; 
15. Kallola; 16. Fctshoo; 17. Ittoo ; 18. Karaiu ; 
] 9. Arrusi ; 20. Tcherker. The last four Tribes are 
in the cast of Shoa. 

Nasir had a Christian boy with him, who wished to 
be instructed by us. The name of this boy is Guebra 
Georgis, about fourteen years of age. His father is a 
Debtera — a learned Abyssinian — whose father, Tecla 
Haimanot, was Alaca of the Church of St. George. I 
received a good impression of this boy on my first con- 
versation with him. He is the only boy who has a real 
desire for instruction. He has a good understanding. 
His father intends to make him a priest, and to send 
him to Gondar to be ordained when the Abuna comes. 
If his heart should be changed by the Holy Spirit, he 
would become very useful to our Mission. From other 
information, I learned that the Tshalfa and Berkona are 
different rivers, which having joined, flow to the Hawash. 

July 18, 1839 — To-day I commenced instructing 
Guebra Georgis : I began reading the Gospel of St. 
Matthew with him. 

Jidy 22 — In reading with Guebra Georgis, I have 
got as far as the middle of St. Matthew's Gospel. I 
have also commenced instructing him in Geography. 


To-day is tlie feast of Mariam. Tliis evening a bov, 
about nine years old, came to our house, saying tliat his 
father and mother were dead ; that his father had left 
him only two pieces of salt, which the people of 
his house had stolen from him ; and that the people, 
instead of returning his property, had driven him out 
of the house. Being disappointed of getting boys from 
the King, we were resolved to receive all who had a real 
desire for instruction. 

July 28 .- Lord's day — I went to the Chiu'ch of St. 
George, and gave a copy of the New Testament to 
Alaca Wolda Hanna, who thankfully accepted it. 

July 29 — To-day was a great Tescar in honour of 
the father of the present King, who died twenty-eight 
years ago. On this occasion the priests pray in the 
Church ; and having finished their ceremonies, eat and 
drink as much as they like. We saw the tomb of the 
late King. There are a great many images, representing 
the achievements of the King, and the Gallas whom he 
himself had killed in war. Buffalos, lions, and leopards, 
which the King had shot are also seen. The present 
King had a painter from Gondar to execute these 
paintings in the Abyssinian style. 

July SO — This morning the Tabot- Altar — was 
brought with shouting into the Church of Tecla Hai- 
manot, built by the present King. This is the 
second chm'ch which the King has built at Ankobar. 
Having yesterday taken another boy into our house, a 
little disturbance arose to-day. Serta Wolda, to whose 


care the King commits strangers, having been informed 
that we had received a second boy, repeatedly charged 
our servant to prevent persons coming to us. We im- 
mediately informed the King of these proceedings, and 
we had the pleasm'e to receive his orders, that nobody 
who Abashed to be instructed should be hindered coming 
to our house. Since that time the number of our 
scholars has increased. 

I finished to-day the physical part of Geography with 
Guebra Georgis. He is much pleased with Geography. 

August \, 1839 — Since I was in the Church of St. 
George several priests have visited us to talk about re- 
ligious subjects. Indeed most of the persons who have 
come to us for that j^urpose are of that church, the reason 
of which may be, that half a year ago, Alaca Melat 
was dismissed by the King in consequence of the dis- 
putes about the second and third births of Christ. The 
people of St. George believe in two births. 

August 4 — This afternoon I made the acquaintance 
of a man whose name is Ai'kadis. His business is to 
instruct a number of boys — about 100 — in singing. 
Desiring to get access to his scholars I endeavoured to 
gain over this man to me. He promised to send his 
son, about seventeen years of age, to be instructed. 
The instruction in singing is given in conformity with 
the book of Fared. If a boy does not like instruction, 
he is punished by his parents — a custom in Abys- 
sinia. \Miat a great blessing these boys would become 
to their country, if they were instructed in the pure 
knowledge of Christ ! 


August 5 — A man of our house gave us this morn- 
ing the following information about the King and his 
family. Sahela Selassieh became King of Shoa when 
twelve years of age, and has now reigned twenty-seven 
years. He is the seventh king of Shoa. The follow- 
ing is the line of the kings of Shoa: 1. Nagathj 2. 
Sebashi ; 3. Abie, who took Ankobar in war from 
the Gallas; -i. Amaha Fesus; 5. Asfa Wassen ; 6. 
Wussen Segged; 7. Sahela Selassieh, the jjresent king. 
The King has ten daughters by several \\dves. By his 
tu-st and favourite vn£e, who is called Besabesh, he has 
a daughter and two sons. The eldest son is twelve 
years of age. The male childi*en of the King are kept 
in prison at Quatsho, on the eastern fi'ontiers of Shoa, 
in the neighbourhood of Adel. On the death of the 
King, his eldest son is taken out of prison and in- 
troduced as king by the ]\Ialatia Agafari — thefii'st door- 
keeper — whose duty is to crown the King. The new 
King then puts his brethren in prison, being afraid of 
distm-bances which they might create against him. 

This afternoon the King went to Machala Wans, a 
village about five miles distant from Ankobar, in order 
to keep the sixteen days^ fasting of the Abyssinians in 
memory of the Felsat (ascension) of Mary. This fast 
is called the Felsata fast. 

August 6 — The above mentioned fast commences to- 
day. Since the King has withdi-aAvn the prohibition of 
Serta Wolda, respecting persons coming to us, we have 
had more people to instruct in the Word of God. I 


called in the afternoon upon Alaca Wolda Serat, 
and spoke with him about the difference between the 
Word of God and that of men. I afterward asked 
him about their yEthiopic books : he gave me a number 
•of titles. He also said, that the Christians flying from 
Gragne — a bigoted Mahomedan king of Adel — went 
beyond the country of Gurague, taking with them books 
and 600 Tabots (communion tables.) 

August 7, 1839 — This morning I asked Akaloo, whom 
I have mentioned before, what the Abyssinians eat when 
they fast. He answered, that they were only allowed to 
eat goman, stinging nettles, and dry bread. The present 
fast is called the fast of Nahasie. Nahasie is 
our August. Then follows the Hodad fast, in the 
months of February and March, which lasts 40 days ; 
after which, in June, the fast of the Apostles, which lasts 
twenty-five or thirty days; and then the fast of Nineveh, 
M'hich lasts three days. In the month of December is 
Tsoma ledat. Otherwise they fast every Wednesday and 
Friday. Tlie fasts of Felsata, Hodadie, Apostles, as 
well as those of every week, ai'e imposed on them as 
a work of necessity. As to keeping of the other fasts 
it is voluntarily. Thus they pass a great part of the 
year in fasting, seeking thereby their own righteous- 
ness. If a person does not fast, he is sepai^ated from 
the Church ; and if he does not repent, he is not in- 
terred in the common burial ground. 

August 8 — This afternoon a man, whose name is 
Habtu, came to us. As he was reported to bean adherent 


to the sect of the Tabiban, I asked him about them. 
His relations are followers of that sect. He approved 
of all that Akaloo had formerly told me about them. 
Their forefathers, he said, about a thousand years ago, 
came from Amhara to Shoa, and lived in caves, in the 
neighbom-hood of Ankobar. They have still three 
monasteries in Shoa, at Felema, Thalassa, and Deifii. 
He said that the people of Shoa insult them with 
nick-names, but that they love God ; that they have the 
Bible in another language ; and are in possession of 
other books. I shall go one day to see this strange 
people. I suppose that they are of the party of the 

To-day was the fast of the childi-en. Childi-en 
are exempted from fasting till they are twelve 
years of age, except when they go to the Lord's supper, 
when they are compelled to fast. Once in the year, 
that is to-day, they are obliged to take the blessed 
sacrament. Any one who spits, or plucks off a leaf from 
a tree, is not admitted to the communion table. They 
receive a w hite cloth from the church, in which they are 
enveloped up to the mouth, and stand from morning till 
the evening, observing the greatest silence; but they do 
not understand any thing about the ceremony. I asked 
a boy whether he knew why he took the blessed sacra- 
ment ; when he replied, because it made him grow. 
What darkness is spread over this people, both young and 
old ! As we have many persons coming to us, I much 
wish that we had a quantity of copies of the Holy Scrip- 


tures in Amliaric. The people seem to understand who 
we are, and why we have come to their country. 

August 9, 1839 — I began to collect a Vocabulary of 
theGaUa Language. The son of Ay to Bekoo called upon 
us. He said, that there was a queen of a Galla tribe, 
called Mulofalada, which is in some measure dependant 
on Shoa. The King is said to have invited her to come 
to Shoa ; when she replied, that if he wished her to 
come, he must cover the whole way with silk. She 
is very rich and strong in war : her name is Tshamieh. 
At the time of King Abie, a wife being the ruler of a 
Galla tribe, v/as in possession of this town. Her name 
was Anko. Hence the name of this tovAoi — Ankobar, 
that is, the door of the Anko. "Bar" means door. In 
Shoa, there are fifty-one Abagas, or watchmen of the 
frontiers. Their duty is to inform the King of the 
arrival of strangers. They are obliged in general, to 
secure the boundaries against inroads or other casualties. 
Herein we may see the margraves of old in Germany. 
The Abaga of the Mahomedans is called Walasma. 
Thus, for instance, Walasma Mahomed, Walasma Musa, 
on the frontiers of Adel. 

August 10 — A priest from Bulga called upon us this 
afternoon, saying, that there are two opinions in Shoa 
respecting the imploring and venerating of Mary. There 
is a party at Bulga and Manshar, in the province of 
Fatigar, who say, that Maiy is to be venerated and 
implored as Christ himself. This party is called 
"Mesle Wold;'^ that is, (in the iEthiopic) like the Son. 


Another party, which prevails at Ankobar and Debra 
Libanos, is of opinion that the Son only ought to be 
implored and venerated. This party is called "Wa 
lawold magsat/' (only to the Son belongs veneration.) 
The late Abuna Cj^illus, being asked about this doc- 
trine, forbid them to dispute about it. He also forbid 
them to eat tish at the time of fasting. 

Arkadis, who instructs boys in singing, called upon 
us again. "N^Tien he left, we gave him a copy of the 
New Testament. His son comes every day. I am 
reading with him the Gospel of St. John. With Guebra 
Georgis I have read the Gospels of St. Matthew, St. 
Mark, and St. Luke. 

August 11 — Our coppst, Wolda Zadek, told me, 
that Efat is divided into Upper and Lower Efat. Mach- 
food — on our maps falsely called Marfood — belongs to 
Upper Efat. Alioamba is in Lower Efat. The district 
of jNIachfood, it is true, has a gi'eat elevation compared 
with the situation of Ankobar, Alioamba, and its 
neighbom-hood ; and that may be the real cause of this 
division. Our Workie told us this evening, that the 
people of the Habab, in the neighbourhood of Mas- 
sowah, professed the Christian faith a short time 
ago ; but that they turned Mahomedans on account of 
a monk, who forbid them to di'ink the milk of camels, 
and not being inclined to comply with this, they changed 
their religion. Most of them have still Christian 
names. When I was at Massowab, I did not know 
this, else I should have made inquiries. Perhaps they 


could be brought back to the Christian faith in its 
better and pvu-er form. Their language is that of 
Massowah, which is the iEthiopic in a corrupted state. 
With Guebra Gcorgis I have finished the Geography 
of Europe. 

August 12, 1839— To-day is the feast of the Annun- 
ciation of Mary. Three priests were here from Debra 
Libanos, asking about the second and third births of 
Christ. I read John iii.,and spoke about the regeneration 
of the sinner. 

August 13 — The priests of Debra Libanos came 
again to-day, with several others, asking about the 
births of Christ. Afterward, a man from Gondar called 
upon us : his name is Guebra Selassie. I asked him 
about CafFa and Enarea. He said, that it is ten days' 
journey from Gondar to Basso on the Nile ; and from 
Basso to Enarea fifteen days; that cofi"ee is brought from 
Cafi"a, and civets from Enarea ; and that shells, corals, 
and pieces of salt are the current money there. 

This afternoon I called upon Alaca Wolda Selas- 
sie, of the Chm-ch of Tecla Haimanot in Afcrbeini. 
His Church was built by the present King. When 
I returned, I found several people, with whom I 
read Matt. iii. On reading the passage. And his meat 
was locusts and wild honey, they said, that John did 
not eat locusts (anbata), but another meat. They are 
afraid lest they should make John a Mahomedan, be- 
cause the Mahomedans eat locusts. Thus they read the 
Bible in the false light of human traditions. 


August 14 — Very early this morning a priest came, 
wishing to see us, having learn,ed that we had been 
at Jerusalem. At first we spoke about the corrupt 
state of the Christians at Jerusalem, and their cpiarrel- 
ling about trifling things ; afterward about the Jeru- 
salem above, to which we go by a living faith in Christ, 
and by worshipping the Father in spirit and in truth ; 
and, finally, we spoke about the great pride ^dth which 
pilgrims come back from Jerusalem, thinking them- 
selves to be saints. A priest then came, reproving 
lamentations for the dead. He said, that Afawork 
(Chrysostomus) had also reproved that custom. 

August 15 — To-day many scholars were here. Three 
boys from the Church of Medhanalim, several persons 
from St. Mary, several priests from St. Michael, and 
the priests of Debi-a Libanos. I read John i. with 
them. A blind man, who seems to be anxious for 
insti"uction, was with them. 

August 16 — I called upon Alaca Wolda Scrat, and 
asked him why he did not continue to study Geogra- 
phy. Since he has been at Ankobar he has given up 
this study. 

August 18: Lord's Day — This day the Abyssinians 
celebrate the memory of Christ^s transfiguration on 
Mount Tabor. I went to the Church of Medhanalim. 
They call this feast Baala Tabor, or, as the people who 
have no knowledge call it, " Behu." At night the 
boys go out taking fiambcaus with them. 

August 19, 1839 — Our former guide, Mahomed Ali, 


from the Adail tribe Wema, arrived this afternoon from 
Tadjurra^ mthout having anything for us. We longed 
very much to receive money, as all ovu* money was 
spent ; but we were disappointed. Mahomed Ali in- 
formed us of the arrival of two Franks at Tadjurra. A 
priest from Debra Libanos informed iis, that Tecla 
Haimanot, who is considered as the Reformer of the 
Abyssinian Church, was born at Bulga, and died at 
Debra Libanos. 

The King sent this afternoon an Abyssinian cloth to 
each of us, saying that it was cold. As we were 
about to send our servant to the market-place, wc 
asked him about the measm-es of Shoa. He said, that 
twenty kuna of grain make a daule ; that one daule 
of barley is got for two pieces of salt ; and that one 
daule of wheat is bought for five pieces of salt. In 
Tigre, sixteen measures make a madega; besides, one 
measm'e is smaller than a kuna in Shoa. For one 
piece of salt, three loads of wood are obtained at An- 
kobar. A Maria Theresa dollar is at present changed 
for seventeen or twenty pieces of salt. Sometimes a 
dollar is changed only for eight, ten, twelve, or fifteen 
pieces of salt. The place where salt-pieces are changed, 
is Aliaomba, a large village about six miles distant 
from the east of Ankobar, the inhabitants of whom 
are nearly all Mahomedans. The place where mules, 
horses, &c. are bought, is Debra Berhan, about twenty 
miles to the west of Ankobar. These places are the 
greatest market-places. At Ankobar, there is a market 


e\'ery Satiu"day, where you can buy sheep, corn, and 
sometimes grease and other things. The market- 
place is without the town, about a mile distant, on 
the river Aii-ara and the Chacka mountain. About 
weights I have got no information ; for instance, how 
many dollars are paid for an ounce of gold. At 
Gondar, the ounce (wokich) of gold is valued at nine 

With regard to establishing a commerce between 
Shoa and a foreign country, the present cii'cum- 
stances perhaps appear suitable for it. The way 
between Shoa and the coast does not occasion great 
hindi'ances, if the matter could be settled with the 
people of Adel and the King of Shoa. The trade 
with mules and horses would be the most promising, 
as a good mule is here worth about ten or twelve dol- 
lars, and a good horse eight or nine dollars : on the 
coast, a mule is worth about twenty-four or twenty-six 
dollars. Therefore, if merchants would buy them in 
Shoa, they would derive a good profit. 

August 20 — The King sent us to-day fifty pieces of 
salt. We are very thankful for all that the King has 
given us, as our money is spent. Our clothes, paper, 
ink, money, and every thing is gone ; and our luggage, 
which we left at Tadjurra, is not expected to an'ive for 
three or four months ; and when it does, we have no 
means to pay for the carriage of it. 

The Tigi-eans are of opinion that Christ anointed 
himself. In saying so, they cut off the Holy 


Ghost from Christ, by whom He was anointed. They 
who believe in the three births of Christ say, that 
Christ, in the womb of Mary, was anointed by the 
Holy Ghost ; and this they call a third birth. We 
reply, with reference to Luke i. 35, that the Holy 
Ghost did not come at that time upon Christ, but upon 
Mary, whom the power of the Highest over-shadowed ; 
and consequently, that Mary received the Holy Ghost 
at that time, and not Christ, upon whom the Spirit of 
God descended, when He was baptized on the Jordan. 
Matt. iii. It does not appear that they consider the 
baptism of Christ as a third birth, as I was of opinion 
that they did. A priest, called Biesana, is said to have 
brought from Gondar to Shoa the dispute about the 
three births of Christ. Respecting the death of Mary, 
it is said by one party, that she died as an offering for 
the sins of the world, or at least that she has redeemed 
150,000 souls ; others say, that she died to go to rest till 
she should rise from the dead. We always tell them, 
that their errors and confusion of opinions arises from 
neglecting the study of the Bible. 

August 21, 1839 — A priest, whose name is Guebra 
Selassie, turned the conversation to the subject of leap- 
year. He said, that the Abyssinians call the names of 
their years after the four Evangelists; that in the year of 
Matthew, of Mark, and of Luke, they add five days to 
the year ; but in the year of John, they add six days. 
This addition is called pagmie. The present is the 
year of John. The Evangelists are the Alacas or 


rulers of their years; therefore, if you ask Avheti a 
mail was born, or when any event happened, they 
say, in the year of ^Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, or 

This afternoon, a priest of Gui'ague, whose name is 
Laaka ]\Iariam, eame to us. "VVe asked him about his 
countiy, when he gave us the f ollowang information . From 
Ankobar to Bulga it is one or two days' journey; from 
Bulga to Garague, five or eight days. That in going 
to Gurague you pass through the country of ten 
tribes of Gallas : 1. Ferrer; 2. Roggi ; 3. Endote; 
4, Adai ; 5. Abboo ; 6. Woretshersa; 7. Tshidda ; 
8. Abado. ; 9. Soddo ; 10. Liban and Gumbushoo. 
You pass the river Hawash in the tribe of Abboo. 
"When you have passed the Hawash, you come, after 
several days, to a large lake, called Suai, in which is an 
island inhabited by monks : there is another lake, in 
the countiy of the Abboo-Gallas, called Killole; and 
one called Arsud. The chief Governors of Gurague, 
are Keroo and Aminoo. Keroo resides at Watsho. 
Both are tributary to the King of Shoa. Gm*ague is 
so called on account of its situation. It is on the left, 
if you look to the west from Gondar. " Gera'' means 
the left, and " gie '' signifies side : hence on the left 
side. The greater part of the inhabitants of Gui-ague 
are Christians ; yet there are many Mahomedans and 
heathens. The places where there arc Christians, are 
the following : — 1. Aimellelle ; 2. Nurreno; 3. Besant- 
shooboo; 4. Manes; 5. Malakdaino; G. Wogoraui ; 



7. Buijana; 8. Foudamo; 9. Datslii; 10. Jettaue; 

11. Aretshat; 12. Hebcrrer; 13. Arogomane; 14. Dobi; 

15. Fawitui j 16. Jatabona j 17. Sera Sangania; 
18. Mohor. The places where Armeni or heathens 
reside, are: — 1. Mascan; 2. Aborrat ; 3. Fakedar ; 
4. Warub; 5. Mans; 6. Sabolas; 7. Faderek; 8. Wum- 
nan; 9. Allakiro ; 10. Duhaber ; 11. Endagach ; 

12. Masmas; 13. Magar; 14. Ener; 15. Asha ; 

16. Tshaha; 17. Wollane. The most distinguished 
mountains of Gurague are : Karra, Kotaltiti, Gafersa, 
Uttukuf, Make, Teru, Engedokotto, Bodegabab, Dino- 
koti, Enokaler, and Sert. The principal rivers are : 
Wiser, in the district of Danu, where the Priest himself 
was born; Dersaf; Asas ; Sherbanes; Meke, and Jama- 
rakoadio. Most of these rivers run into the lake of 
Suai. On the way from Ankobar to the Hawash 
you pass three rivers ; namely, Akaki, Guratsha, and 
Furri. The current money in Gurague is salt : 
dollars do not pass. Knives, scissors, needles, &c., 
are well received. There is much coffee in Gm-ague; 
and wine is also produced. Tasma honey, of the 
most precious kind, is found in the province of 
Abamada. Their houses are better than those in 
Shoa. The women of Gurague make carpets from 
the Ensiete plant, of which I made mention above. 
There are about thirty-nine monasteries in Gurague. 
The Galla Tribes beyond Gurague, are the following : — 
Maroko, Laki, Lani, Damo, and Endegan. In the 
neighbourhood of Gurague is the country of Senshero, 


where are many Christians and IMahomedans ; eight 
days joiu-uey beyond is that of Mager, the King of 
which is called Degoie. He is very strong. There is 
another country, in the same neighbourhood, called 
Kortshassi : it is surrounded by Gallas on every side ; 
and all the inhabitants are Christians. 

I read with the priest several chapters in the Gospel 
of St. IMatthew, and afterward gave him a copy of the 
New Testament, wi'iting in it — " The messengers of the 
Gospel give this book to the Christian Churches of 
Gm'ague, in token of love." 

August 22, 1839 — As yesterday closed the fast of 
Maiy, this day was one of great joy, and the people 
ate and drank to the delight of their hearts : it is 
therefore called a great Fasika. This feast is called 
Tescar. The King sent a cow, with some hens and 
eggs to our house. This Tescar had a bad influence 
upon our instruction, as nobody came to-day. Our 
Guebra left us to eat and drink in the house of his 

August 23— Our copyist, Habta Selassie, who is a 
learned Abyssinian, gave me the following list of iEthi- 
opic books: 1. Aragawi manfasawi ; 2. Tilikisus; 3. 
Marishak ; (these are called the books of the Monks,) 
4. Taamrat ; 5. Gadela Samatal ; 6. Tamera Mariam; 
7. Dilsana Mariam; 8. Argano; 9. Senkesar ; 10. 
Gadela Gcorgis ; 1 1 . Tamera Georgis ; 12. Gadela Tccla 
Haimanot ; 13. Gadala Guebra Manfa Kedus; 14. Ga- 
dela Guebra Christos; 15. Abu Shaker; 16. Sena 
F 2 


Markos ; 17. Hezana Moia; 18. Etshi Johauos ; 19. 
Sena Ailiud ; 20. Genset ; 21. Georgis WoldaAmed; 
22. Mazhafa Mistir; 23. Erotaa Haimanot; 24. 
Wudattie Amlak ; 25. Guebra Hemamal; 26. Tamera 
Jesus ; 27. Kalamentos ; 28. Seifa Selassie ; 29. Der- 
sana Michael j 30. Dersana Medhanalim ; 31. Kufalie; 
32. Sefafa Zedek ; 33. Egsiabher Negs; 34. Amada 
Mistir; 35. Zoma Degua; 36. Sena Fetrat. Amada 
Mistir and Sena Fetrat are written in Amharic. In 
the Church of St. George there arc seventy books 
belonging to it. It is very difficult to get a book by 
purchase ; if you wish to possess one, you must get it 

I spoke to our copyist about the conversion of the 
Gallas. He said that the Gallas do not like the Chris- 
tian Religion, and say that the people of Shoa are not 
better than themselves; that they will not bear the 
heavy yoke which is imposed on them by fasting ; and 
that they are offended at the iEthiopic language — to 
them an unknown language — in which they are taught 
by the Abyssinians. I said, " ^^ ty do you impose 
on them such a heavy load ? Do you not know what 
Christ says, (^latt. xi. 30.) My yoke is easy, and my 
hiirden is light ? Why do you imitate the example 
of the Pharisees who transgressed the commandment 
of God by their traditions ? " 

August 24, 1839 — Several persons called upon us, 
asking for the Kalem abenat. The Abyssinians are of 
opinion that there is a medicine, which, put into bread. 


is taken by cliildi-en or persons who wish to under- 
stand reading and wi'iting quickly. They beheve that 
eveiT man who comes from Egjqit — which they call 
Gipz, and an Egyptian, Gipzi — is in possession of this 
medicine. We replied, that we did not know such a 
medicine; and said, "Why are all men of Shoa so 
ignorant, if there is such a good medicine against igno- 
rance ? God from the beginning imposed on man to 
labour. All knowledge and skiKulness must be got by 
exerting our powers of body and mind." As there 
were about twelve persons with us^ I read with them the 
Heidelberg Catechism, which JNIr. Isenberg had trans- 
lated into Amharic. 

August 26 — I called uponAlaca Wolda Hanna, who 
was reading with Alaca Metat St. Chrysostom, (called 
by the Abyssiuians Afawork, meaning " gold mouth") 
He asked me about the leviathan and behemoth, men- 
tioned in the Book of Job ; about our bishops ; the 
journey to Cairo ; and the children of Ham, &c. 

I then called upon Alaca Wolda Serat, Ayto Wolda 
Georgis, and Arkadis. Before leaving the latter, I 
asked about the mountains of Bulga, which are seen 
from that place. One high mountain is called !Magus- 
as; another is called Fantalh; and the name of an 
other AVosile. In the evening I sent a copy of the Psalms 
to the Alaca of Tecla Haimanot. The Lord be praised 
for giving me daily an opportunity of spreading the 
good seed of His AA'ord ! 

August 27 — Johanes, who was formerly a Mahom- 


edan, told us this morning, that the King had 
cut off the nice binding of the books, which we 
gave him at our first meeting with him, to use 
for another pm-pose. We do not think, however, that 
it is true. The people of Shoa, like those of Tigre, 
do not like the Amharic very much, but prefer the 
iEthiopic. We endeavour to prove, that as the Amharic 
is the language of the country, and as the ^thiopic re- 
quires a long study, the Amharic is much more prefer- 
able to an unknown language. We refer them to 
1 Cor. xiv., where St. Paul is speaking about the use- 
lessness of speaking in an unknown tongue. Finally, 
we say, that the iEthiopic is a translation like the 
Amharic, which has its preference in so far as it is 
corrected in conformity with the Hebrew; while the 
iEthiopic translation is made according to the Septua- 
gint. Perhaps it would be expedient, if the Bible 
Society would print the ^thiopic and Amharic in one 
volume, in the same way as they have printed the 
Ancient and Modern Greek New Testament, in one 
volume, in two opposite columns. I wish that we were 
in possession of a quantity of ^thiopic New Testa- 
ments. This morning Alaca Wolda Serat proposed 
to me to change the works of St. Chrysostom for a 
copy of the New Testament in iEthiopic. At Angol- 
lala, I offered to him a copy of the Amharic New 
Testament ; but he refused to accept it, asking for the 
^thiopic. It always makes a painful impression on 
our mind if the people, and particularly the fii'st digni- 


taries of cliui'ches, refuse to accept the Holy Scrip- 

August 28, 1839 — To-day a priest ofBulga called on 
us. He said, that there was a large river, called Kassam, 
in the neighbourhood of Bulga ; and that it flows into the 
Hawash. The name of the Governor of Bulga is Berkie, 
who resides at Merfata. As there were about fifteen 
persons with us, I read j\Iatt. xxiii. with them, and 
afterward the Catechism, with which they were well 

August 29 — To-day is the feast of Tecla Haima- 
not. The memory of this Saint is celebrated three 
times in the year. In the month of December, the 
memory of his birth is celebrated ; in August, his 
death ; and in May, his ascension. The people of Shoa 
say, that there is a well, called Tabal, by drinking the 
water of which sick persons are restored to health. 
Tecla Haimanot, they say, opened this well; the arch- 
angel ^lichael, who was his Mediator with God, having 
she^\Ti him where the well was. On this day, the King 
gives money and salt to the poor, and mules to those who 
cannot walk, in memory of Tecla Haimanot, who cured 
cripples and other sick men. AMien they go to Debra 
Libanos, they bring back dust from his grave, making 
on his feast a cross with it on the forehead. They say, 
too, that this dust is good in many cases of sickness. 

August 31 — There being about eight scholars here, 
I read with them in the Gospel of St. John. In the 
afternoon, I went to see Wolda Hanna, who wished to 


learn the English Language. AYe had a conversation 
about Geography. When 1 left him, he asked about 
our necessaries, sajang, he would send bread and wine if 
we were in want of them. I should be very glad if I 
had a better knowledge of the Amharic Language ; but I 
hope, with the assistance of God, to improve it every 
day. Mr. Isenberg has finished his Geography, which 
he began to write at Angollala. He intends to write 
a brief Universal History. A Spelling-book was com- 
posed by him at Angollala. We have made copies of 
those works written by Abyssinians. 

Sept. 1, 1839. Lord's Day — I went veiy early this 
morning to the Church of St. Michael. TheAlaca, Wolda 
Mariam, on seeing me, requested me to take a seat by 
his side. I gave him a copy of the New Testament in 
Amharic^ with which he was much pleased, asking at 
the same time, whether I had none in ^Ethiopic. 
Observing him wondering at the nice binding of the 
book, I took the opportunity to speak to him about 
the blessings contained in it ; and then briefly related 
to him the history of the Reformation, showing him 
that our forefathers were in as much darkness as the 
Abyssinians are at present, and how they were 
delivered from it by the light of the AA'ord of God ; and 
finally, I spoke to him about the worldly blessings 
which we have enjoyed since the time of the Reforma- 
tion of our churches. I have much hope that they 
will allow us to preach in their churches : for the pre- 
sent, however, I endeavour to make my acquaintance 


with them. I went afterward to the Church of Tccla 
Haimanot in Aferbeini. As the service was finished, I 
called upon Alaca Guebra Selassie. 

Sept. 4 — Two monks came to-day begging for 
clothes. Mr. Isenberg spoke with them about monkery- 
being inconsistent with the original institution of matri- 
mony, Gen. ii. — of labour. Gen. iii. One of the monks 
has been at Axuca, where he had received a copy of the 
Psalms from our servant Kidan Mariam. We are glad 
to find that our books are spread over a large por- 
tion of Abyssinia. 

Sept. 5 — It rained very much to-day. In the even- 
ing I went to the Church of St. George, to see the 
books belonging to that Church. Afterward, a Debtera 
came asking about the polygamy of the Mahomedans. 
I directed him to the institution of God, Gen. ii. ; and 
the confirmation of that by Christ, Matt. xix. 4, 5., 
asking him, whether we should follow the error of the 
^Mahomedans, or the Word of God ? 

Se2')t. 7 — About eight persons were here this morn- 
ing. An Alaca of Machala Wans begged for medicine. 
I asked him about the names of the parts of the 
Abyssinian churches. The first place, at the entrance, is 
called Kenie Maalti, where the boys in singing and other 
people stand. The second place is called Kediste, the 
place of the priests ; the third is called Keduta 

A relation of the King's came begging for medicine. 
The name of the King's mother is Senania Work- rain 

F 5 


of gold — She resides at Selat Dingai, iu the neighbour- 
hood of Tegulet. 

Sejyt. 9^ 1839 — I read this morning Acts viii. to a blind 
man, explaining to him the mind of Simon the sor- 
cerer, and the sincere mind of the Eunuch. 

Sept. 10 — This is the last day of the Abyssinian year. 
Our boy, Guebra Georgis, spoke this evening about 
Theodorus, who, in the opinion of the Abyssinians, is 
the Apostle John, who shall come at his time to rule 
all Jerusalem. 

Sept. 11 — To-day the new year of the Abyssinians 
begins. They count now 7332 in their chronology. I 
went to the Church of St. George, ha\'ing been in- 
formed that a priest would give a speech in Amharic. 
As I arrived too early, I went away. Mr. Isenberg 
went afterward to hear the speech, and came back 
much distressed about the nonsense he had heard. The 
speech was taken from the books of Sena Fetrat and 
Amada Mistir, being written in Amharic. 

In the afternoon a Debtera, Guebra Mariam, called 
upon us. On asking where he was born, he replied, 
that he was from the isle of Haig, which is in a large 
lake in the country of the Galla tribe, the name of 
which is Tehuladere, in the north of Shoa. On this 
island there are about a hundred houses, and a monas- 
tery, where wives are not admitted : they live at some 
distance from the monastery. The island is eight days 
jpm-ney from Ankobar. Foreigners who wish to enter 
Shoa, are compelled to wait in the neighbourhood of 


this late, for orders from the King of Shoa. The name 
of the Governor of Tehviladere is Ali Marie, who is de- 
pendant on Has Ali at Gondar, and who is at present at 
war with Beroo of Argobba. 

The priest of Gurague came this evening, asking for 
a definitive answer, whether I would go with him to 
his country. I answered in the negative, though I 
was much inclined to go mth him, and I intend to do 
so in the month of December. 

The Galla Tribes in the south of Gurague are the 
following: l.Wudass; 2. Mai ; 3. Abboso; 4. Abo- 
sitsho ; 5. Masso ; 6. Lellon ; 7. Imer; 8. Fullo ; 
8. Banoso; 9. Falandoso; 10. Mirrer. The Go- 
vernor of the town sent a sheep to us this evening. 

Sept. 13' — This afternoon the priest Sawold, who 
delivered an Amharic speech on the morning of the 
new year, called upon us. He is one of the most 
learned Abyssinians I have seen ; but he is veiy proud. 
He turned the conversation to Chronology, saying, that 
the Abyssinians had seven chronologies. I afterward 
went to Alaca Wolda Hana, who is sick. 

Sept. 15 — The above mentioned priest, Sawold, 
called upon us again, and turned the conversation to 
Chronology, as he had done on his first visit. When 
we said, that we had a firm basis for our Chronology in 
the 5th chapter of Genesis and other parts of the Old 
Testament, he said that the Jews had altered the 
Scriptures — an opinion which I had never heard from 
an Abyssinian — and therefore we could not rely upon 


the Hebrew. We said that we did not expect that he 
would speak in favour of the JMahomedans, who also 
say that the Jews and Christians had altered the Scrip- 
tures. We then endeavoured to prove that the Jews 
did not alter the Old Testament^ else they would have 
first altered the prophecies referring to Christ ; and 
further^ that the Jews had numbered the letters^ and 
were very anxious to keep the genuine text of Scrip- 
ture. The conversation then turned to Cyi'illus, Leon, 
Diosceurus, and other distinguished men in the Church 
at their times. Finally, the priest spoke of the births 
of Christ, and the late Abuna, Cyi'illus, whom they con- 
sider like an angel in heaven. 

Sept. 16, 1839 — The priest of Gurague came again. I 
read with him Matt. v. He afterward spoke of a kind 
of lion in his country, which is called Dib Anbasa. 
He added, that nobody had seen him ; but that when 
speaking of a strong man, they compare him with the 
Dib Anbasa. Another priest, born at Fintsha, the 
capital city of the province of Kuara, in the west "of 
Dembea, called on us. I asked him about the people 
dwelling on the sources of the Nile — which the Abys- 
sinians call Abai — whether they were Christians or hea- 
thens. He said that they were Christians. I asked 
him why they sacrificed to the Nile ; to which he replied, 
that it was a custom in Abyssinia to sacrifice cows, 
sheep, &c., in cases of sickness and or bad times. It 
is a fact, that the Abyssinians have this custom ; and 
therefore we may doubt the statement of Mr. Bruce that 


they are heathens. However, I suspend my judgment for 
the present. This priest also spoke in high terms of 
Gutho, the Governor of Damot, who is in friendship 
with the King of Shoa. Mr. D'Abadie is with him at 
present. By his means a traveller could get great as- 
sistance in going to Caffa and Enarea. When the 
priest left Gondar, Ras Ali had turned Mahomedan ; but 
as his governors, priests, and monks, protested against 
this step, he was obliged to return to the Christian 

In the afternoon a man came begging for medicine. 
I was just reading Rev. i. with another man. When 
I had read some verses and spoke a little about it, he 
said, " It is enough : I have not come to you to learn, 
but to ask for medicine." Afterward an Alaca came, 
whose name is AVolda Tesfa. He was formerly the 
Alaca of St. Gabriel, at Adowah ; but being an adherent 
to the party of the three births of Christ, he was 
expelled from Adowah. He begged us to give him 
medicine. It is grievous to say, that the greater part 
of the people who come to us, seek only help for the 
body. When they come, they say that they long for 
instruction ; but having got medicine, they do not con- 
cern themselves for instruction. When I think on their 
disingenuousness, I have little hope of a good success 
of our work among this people, and my mind turns to 
the heathen Gallas. Enarea is said to be beyond the 
countiy of Sidama. Sidama means, in the Galla Ian- 


guage, " a Christian." That country is said to be on 
the way to Enarea. 

Sept. 17, 1839 — Several priests asked us whether the 
Abuna had yet arrived from Cairo. We answered in 
the negative. There are several causes which prevent the 
Abyssinians from getting an Abuna. The Governors 
of Tigre and Amhara are at present in the possession 
of the lands belonging to the Abuna, which, should he 
come, they would be obliged to deliver to him. Another 
cause is, that the Abyssinians are at variance with 
each other. The people of Gondar defend the opinion of 
the three births of Christ, which opinion the people of 
Tigre oppose. The Abuna of Tigre is therefore not 
acknowledged at Gondar, and vice versa. The Abuna 
Cyi-illus, who defended two births, was expelled from 

In the afternoon, several persons came to see my 
watch, of which they had heard from others, consider- 
ing it as a wonder. I said, that it was their time to con- 
vert their minds to Christ. Heb. iv. A priest spoke 
about a book, the title of which is " Iscander." We sup- 
pose it is a translation from the Arabic. Then he spoke 
about the books of Dionysius Areopagita. Mr. Isen- 
berg proved to him, that it was an error to ascribe those 
books to Dionysius, mentioned Acts xvii. Our Workie 
told us this evening of a large city on the side of the 
river Mareb, in the country of the Shangallas, the 
name of which is Maidaro. 

Sept. 19 — Alaca Wolda Tesfa called upon us this 


afternoon. We asked him about the following strange 
story, which our Workie had related to us the day 
before. The Abuua, Christodoulusj at the time of 
King Nabla Denghel, had reprimanded the people 
of the Fetshoos on account of their \dciousness. Ex- 
asperated at this, they thought in revenge to defame 
him. At fii'st they brought the servants of the Abuna 
over to their side. Then they slaughtered a child, 
which they presented at table to the Abuna and the 
King, who were sitting together : one hand of the child 
was still to be seen in its natural state. The Abuna 
was astonished at the sight, and the King asked, whe- 
ther such was the usual meat in that house. He was 
answered in the affirmative. He then said, " From 
henceforth slaughtering and blood-shedding shall have 
no end in yom* country." Therefore, they are called Fet- 
shoo, that is — his hand. The Abuna is said to have 
raised the child from the dead, to bear witness to his 

Sept. 20 — This morning, about seven o'clock, we 
set out from Ankobar, and arrived at Debra Berhan 
about two o'clock in the afternoon. Several days ago we 
had intended to go ; but the people of the King refused 
to give us our mules, till they had received definitive 
orders from the King to deliver them up to us. Hav- 
ing arrived at Debra Berhan, we were conducted to a 
broken tent though much rain was falling. 

Sejit. 21 — This morning Beru, the King's boy, 
came to our tent, saying, that the King had been in- 


formed of our arrival yesterday evening veiy late. We 
begged the King, through Beru^ to allow us to have 
an interview with him, in order that we might com- 
municate to him our business. At the same time, we 
made him acquainted with Mr. Isenberg's intention of 
returning to Egypt and Europe. Beru immediately 
retm'ned, bringing with him a sheep and some bread 
from the King. The King expressed his regret at Mr. 
Isenberg's going so soon. As it rained much, we asked 
for a house, which was given us by the people of Serta 
Wold, whose duty it is to take care of foreigners. 

Sept. 23, 1839 — This morning we met with the King. 
He was willing to let Mr. Isenberg go. We then told 
him, that I wished to remain here, and in course of 
time to go the Gallas, to preach the Gospel to them. 
He answered, " That \\dll not do : the GaUas will kill 
you.'' The people of Shoa attempted to convert these 
heathens by means of war and magic sentences ; but 
they refused to accept the Christian faith. 

Sept. 25 — This morning, about seven o'clock, I 
set out from Debra Berhan to visit Tegulet, the an- 
cient capital city of Shoa, and a river called Salatsha, 
which flows at the foot of the mountain on which 
Tegulet is built. I went in an easterly direction, and 
came to a mountain, where a steep way conducted me 
into the dale where the river flows. Having arrived 
at the river, I could not find a way to ascend the 
mountain on which Tegulet is built, though I could 
see very well the place where the city was. At pre- 


sent there is a village there, called Etake. I saw a 
large wall, a work of old, which connects the village 
with a neighbouring mountain. In the midst of the 
wall is a large opening. 

Sept. 26 — This day we saw the King's soldiers ex- 
ercised, which takes place every year at the time of 
Mascal — a feast in memory of the invention of the 
cross. About nine o'clock we were called to the 
King. He was sitting at the entrance of his house 
surrounded by a number of his governors. AYe were 
ordered to take our seats by them. A number of sol- 
diers then appeared, having in their hands a bushel of 
s^\'itches, on the top of which a bundle of flowers was 
bound. A horseman rode up and down several times 
before then* front, who at last cast down his two lances 
on the ground, and in the same moment all cast away 
their switches. The ceremony was then finished. The 
King then ascended a balcony, which had been 
erected several days before. Having waited a little, 
we were called to take our seats in the balcony with 
the governors and other favourites of the King. The 
King was sitting in a small cabinet erected on the 
balcony, his favourite governors sitting at his side. 
These are Maratsh and Tshitshigoo. Then the respec- 
tive governors, with their troops firing guns, defiled 
before the King, on a large meadow-gi'ound. About 
6,000 men defiled before the King. About two o'clock 
we retired to our house. 



Sept. 27, 1839 — The King liaving sent us word, that 
we should go with him to Angollala, I resolved on re- 
turning to Ankobar. Mr. Isenberg followed the King 
to Augollala, in order to take leave of him. I arrived 
at Ankobar about three o'clock in the afternoon. On 
entering the town, I was stopped by the people of the 
Governor, to wait for orders from him. I went on my 
way, however, knowing that the King had given no 
orders to prevent my entering the town. A gi*eat num- 
ber of those who had visited us before for instruction, 
came to ask how I did, and whether we were all well. 
SejJt. 28 — Mr. Isenberg arrived this morning at 
Ankobar. He brought me the news, that a messenger 


has arrived from Adowali, informing the King of the 
arrival of fom* Eui-opeans, who wished to come to Shoa. 
The same messenger brought the news, that Oobieh, the 
Zetshesmatsh of Tigre, had put Cassai, the son of Sa- 
bagadis, in fetters. 

Sept. 30 — Since the people have learned that j\Ir. 
Isenberg intends to leave Shoa, they have come in 
numbers begging for medicine. This morning one of 
our copyists came asking medicine for a monk. Mr. 
Isenberg took the opportunity to speak to him about 
monkery. The rainy season seems to be coming again, 
it having rained very much for the last few days. Sa- 
wold repeated his visit to us, and turned the conversa- 
tion again to the subject of Chronology. In the even- 
ing the son of Alaca Wolda Serat came begging us to 
teach him Geogi-aphy. Several boys and priests were 
here. I have finished with Guebra Georgis, the Geogra- 
phy, and in the Universal Histoiy I have proceeded as 
far as the time of the Reformation. I have also read 
with him the Gospels of St. INIatthew, Mark, and Luke. 

October 1 — Very early this morning, the son of 
Alaca Wolda Serat came. I began to instruct him in 
Geography. Afterward, the son of the Alaca of 
Aferbeini came, bringing the Psalms I had sent 
him, saying, that the Alaca wished for something 
greater than that, of which he would inform to us. We 
sent him word, that it caused us much pain to see 
those, whose duty it was to teach others, not like the 
Word of God. He went away ; but returned in the af- 


ternoorij sa}dug, that we should not be offended, as the 
Alaca had ah'eady received a copy of the Psalms from a 
monk who got it at Axum, and was not in want of ano- 
ther ; but that he would be glad of a New Testament. 

Our Workie asked us, whether we knew anything 
of the traveller Arada, who came to Abyssinia, and 
having travelled in so many other countries, be- 
came a proverb in Abyssinia ; as for instance, Ras 
Michael having returned with his troops to Gondar 
from the country of the Gooderoos, said, " We have 
travelled like Ai-ada/' 

This evening we witnessed a very mournful cere- 
mony. A woman in our house, the wife of a man from 
Gurague, began suddenly to sing. At first we did 
not listen to her ; but several times repeating her 
song, we asked what it was. Guebra Georgis told us, 
that she wished to expel the bad spirits which she im- 
agined would inflict her with sickness. In singing she 
repeated the words ; "Lamana saijasu gena" — a prayer 
before the bad spirits are seizing me. Having finished 
her song, she smoked for a few minutes, and then sung 
again ; which having done she moved her head in every 
direction. I went to her, and asked what she was 
doing. At first I thought that she was out of her 
senses, as she gave me no answer. Mr. Isenberg, who 
was rather unwell to-day, also came to see her. He 
asked her, whether she was in the service of Satan ? 
But she continued her idolatrous ceremony. The 
people standing by brought her a red hen, which she 


kissed and put on her neck ; but the hen of course did 
not stay there. She then moved her head again and 
changed her clothes. Mr. Isenberg again spoke to her 
about her sinful performances. We were about to leave 
her, when she said, " ]May God come upon you, that 
you came to me.^' Mr. Isenberg replied, " How do 
you know God, as you serve the false god like the 
heathens ?^' We then returned to our room, and asked 
om* boy about the meaning of the ceremony, when he 
gave us the following particulars. The Gallas and all 
of the people of Gurague and Shoa, who are smokers, 
beUeve that there are eighty-eight spirits, which they 
call Sarotsh — in the singular, Sar — These spirits are 
said to walk about and inflict men with sickness ; and 
hence, when such persons feel sick, they take their 
refuge in superstitious means. By smoking and sing- 
ing, moving then- body, and particularly by offering a 
hen to the Sar, they imagine that they can frighten 
away the bad spirit and secm-e themselves against being 
sick. The Sarotsh are divided into two parties, each 
having its Alaca or head. One iVlaca is called Mama, 
who has forty-fom* Sarotsh under his command : the 
name of the other Alaca is Warrer, and has the same 
number of Sarotsh under him. Each Sar has a par- 
ticular name. When persons perform such a ceremony, 
they speak in another language. Thus, for instance, 
they call a hen, " Tshari" — in the Amharic, a hen is 
called Doro. The hen is afterward slaughtered and 
eaten by the assistants, except the brains, which are 


only eaten by the person who has performed the most 
part. In choosmg a hen they prefer a red one. The 
King has given orders to abolish this heathenish cus- 
tom, and the priests have forbidden the people to smoke, 
having observed that all smokers are fond of this 

These proceedings characterize very much the Chris- 
tians of Abyssinia. They mix all together — Chris- 
tianity, Judaism, IMahomedanism, and Heathenism. 
The ceremony just mentioned is common to them, as 
well as the Gallas ; and the opinion of the above men- 
tioned priest, respecting the interpolations of Scripture 
made by the Jews, is evidently a Mahomedan doctrine. 
Their distinctions of clean and unclean food, and the 
use of circumcision, as well as many other ceremonies, 
are clear evidences of a mixture with Judaism. We 
cannot expect a better state of religion among them, 
inasmuch as a string of silk put around their necks 
as a sign of their Christianity — mortification of their 
flesh by much fasting — a strict separation from Maho- 
medans by not eating with them — their kissing 
churches — imploring Saints — disputing about the 
births of Christ — pilgrimages to Jerusalem, or to the 
grave of Tecla Haimanot — all these things together 
cannot change their hearts, nor secure them against the 
inroads of Satan. The priests, instead of conducting 
the people to Christ, assume the lordship over them, 
engrossing their attention with vain fables and stories 
of saints, to whom they direct them for refuge as 


their Saviours. Hence ignorance, superstition^ fleshly 
sins, particularly fornication, have prevailed among the 
people ; so that we may well wonder at the remnant of 
Christianity which still exists in this country. Who 
can cure the wounds of Abyssinia, but the Lord by 
His Spirit and His Word ? To give them His Spirit we 
are unable ; but we can serve them by supplying them 
with the Word of God. The Holy Scriptures must 
not only be laid down before the people, but they must 
be explained to them by word and by writing ; and the 
youth must be instructed in the holy truths of the 
Bible. The Lord be praised that He has enabled us 
to make a beginning, though a small one. The people 
know distinctly who we are, and why we have come to 
their coimtry. A number of persons have heard the 
sound doctrines of the Gospel, by reading the Scriptures 
and conversation with them. Mr. Isenberg has endea- 
voured to further our object, partly by conversing with 
the people who came to us, and partly by preparing 
several school-books, which I could make use of after 
his departure. I have, on my part, endeavoured, be- 
sides the iEthiopic and Amharic studies, to read with 
the people in the Holy Scriptures, in reading which I 
have got as far as the first Epistle of Paul to the 
Corinthians. The Lord grant that the number of 
our scholars may increase, as well as our means in 
receiving a great quantity of books ; but, above all, 
may He grant that we may be filled with the spirit of 
faith, love, wisdom, and prayer ! 


October 2, 1839 — To-day, I was again overrun with 
patients. Debtera Gucbra Selassieh brought his wife 
as a patient. This woman is at the head of the first 
class of the royal spinning women, who are two hun- 
dred in number, and have to spin the finer cotton for 
the royal cloth, which the King dresses himself and 
presents to his friends, ladies, governors, &c. A second 
class of spinning women are four hundred in number : 
these spin ordinary cotton for soldiers and others. All 
are in the service of the King, and seem to be free. I 
observe this circumstance here, because there are 
several hundreds of slaves, particularly females, at each 
of the King's residences at Ankobar, Angollala, Debra 
Berhan, and Kundy. The King's grinding women, 
for instance, at Ankobar are, I believe, three hundred 
in number. The water girls, who have to carry all the 
necessary water for the King's household, and for 
foreigners who are maintained by the King, are more 
than that number : his female cooks, I think, are 
two hundred. He has also some hundreds of women to 
prepare beer and hydromel; so that the number of 
female-slaves at Ankobar only in the King's posses- 
sion exceeds by far one thousand. A large number of 
male-slaves of the King are chiefly employed in carry- 
ing wood. The number of slaves at each of the three 
other residences is not quite so large as that of Anko- 
bar ; but there are many hundreds at each. They are 
for the greater part from Gurague ; others are Gallas, 
Shankelas ; others from the Zindjero country ; from 


Enarea aucl CafFa, and many Abyssinians from Shoa, 
These and many other facts, may give a famt idea of 
what remains to be done in these quarters for the poor 
African slaves. 

Religious conversations always revert to the wor- 
shipping of saints^ fasting, ceremonies, &c. To-day I 
had again a long conversation with a priest of St. 
George's, and some other persons present, which began 
with speaking on Tecla Haimanot, in honour of whom 
four annual festivals are celebrated, when many patients 
are said to be cured from various diseases. The chief 
place for the celebration of these festivals is Debra 
Libanos, where there seems to be a mineral water, 
effectual particularly against rheumatism, paralysis, 
&c. Tecla Haimanot, they say, on arri^dng there 
from his journey, and being thirsty, prayed to God to 
open a fountain; when, through the agency of the 
archangel Michael, water sprang up at his feet, coming 
from Jordan. A\Tien this story was told to us to- 
day, we expressed our disbelief; and added, that we 
wanted neither true nor false miracles, as the mira- 
cles of Christ and His Apostles were quite sufficient. 
A long conversation then ensued on the worshipping 
of saints, when we laid particular stress on this 
point — that every honour paid to the creature, which 
ascribed to it some share in the working out our salva- 
tion, and implied a separation of Christ from His 
Church, or any imperfection of His work, was an offence 
against Christ. 


The conversation then turned to the relation between 
clergy and laity ; when they were told, that all Chris- 
tians were called to be a royal priesthood of God — that 
priests were called to be, not Lords over the faith of 
believers, but helpers of their jo?/— that the priest 
is to rank above the congregation in knowledge and 
experience, in order to shew the people the way to 
Christ — that the people must themselves go to Christ ; 
if they do not, the priest availed them nothing^ — and 
that if a layman be taught by Christ himself, by His 
Word and Spirit, he will lack nothing on account 
of the priest's not having been instrumental in bring- 
ing on his conversion. They were fin-ther told, that 
where a work of God is going on in the minds of the 
people, the priest is not to interfere, throwing difficul- 
ties in the way of believers ; that he has only to ex- 
plain the will of our common Lord to the inquirer, and 
to assure the repenting and belie\ang sinner from the 
Gospel, that his salvation has been wi'ought out by 
Christ; and that when saying, Egziabeheryiftahh — (May 
God absolve thee— the Abyssinian form of Absolu- 
tion), this is to be a prayer, not a magic form at the 
command of the priest; for the keys of Da\dd are 
in the hands of Christ, and to His Word, priests and 
laymen are alike to submit themselves. 

This afternoon several people were at our house, 
with whom I conversed about our Missionary calling. 
The subject of om- conversation had previously been 
on the nature of faith and justification by it ; when a 


brother of the Alaca of St. Michael observed, that if 
we continued to teach in this manner, a blessing would 
proceed from it to the country, for the people would be 
converted from their sins ; but now that I had resolved 
to go away, they would sink back into theii' darkness. 
I replied, that if they really loved the Word of God, 
they would apply for instruction to this fountain of 
wisdom itself, and God would give them His Spirit to 
lead them to Christ, and then they would have no 
occasion for our assistance ; but that if they had occasion 
for us and loved us, my Brother Krapf, who would remain 
among them, and who daily became more acquainted 
with their language, would instruct them ; and that our 
Society also would send other brethren to fill my place, 
and probably I should again come myself. They com- 
mended our disinterestedness in teaching the people, 
and administering medical assistance to the benefit 
of many gratuitously. To the latter point, I, in a 
friendly manner, remarked, that although we did not 
want them to pay us for any assistance, still they should 
not desire it gratuitously, because Scripture told us 
that the labourer is worthy oj his hire. 

Our conversation then turned on the distinction 
between Mahomedans and Christians, on the Mateb 
— a blue or white silk or cotton cord, which 
Christians wear round their neck — and on the dis- 
tinction in eating and drinking. I observed, that love 
was the distinguishing mark by which true Christians 
were known from other men, referring to the words of 

G 2 


Christy John xiii. 35. '^It is true/' said one of tlie 
priests of St. Michael's, " to be friendly with friends, 
and to good to the poor &c., is the first duty of all 
Christians." I told him, that this was not sufficient ; 
and put the question to him, whether if he loved his 
friend, it was not because his friend loved him ? This 
he could not deny. I then showed, him that in thus 
loving he loved his own self only. I asked, whether 
on being offended by any person he did not become 
angry? He answered in the affirmative. I then proved 
how this, which was far from being a distinguishing 
mark of Christianity, but very often met with among 
heathen and Mahomedans, was not real love, but 
selfishness; in contrast to which I endeavoured then 
to show what was true love, namely, loving our neigh- 
bour, without distinguishing between friend or enemy, 
on account of our common Creator and Redeemer, love 
being our happy duty and om- second nature ; and ob- 
served, that though love was in its expressions affected 
by the different characters and conduct of the beloved 
objects, it was not disturbed nor destroyed by them. 
He then asked, whether in our country there was no- 
thing like hatred and enmity ? I answered, that this 
question was not now a proper one ; but that if he 
saw and felt the truth of what had been said, he 
would take the subject into serious consideration, and 
endeavour himself to arrive at the possession of such 
love and such Christianity; and even if he should 
happen to become the only man in the world who so 


loved ; yea, and that if he should find, that myself, who 
now shewed him the way, did not live according to it — 
for which I should be very sorry — this was to be no 
matter to him, he was not to be disturbed by it. It 
was, I said, a sad truth, that the disciples of Christ 
lived in no country unmixed ; but that there were 
everj-where true and false Christians mingled together, 
not excepting our own country. He was glad at hearing 
this, and said, " Then it is there as it is with us." I 
told him not to be glad, because, as I had said, it was 
a sad truth ; nor to rejoice too soon, for perhaps in no 
other country was there so little of true Christianity 
as in Abyssinia. 

October 3, 1839 — To-day we learned, that Wulasma 
]\Iahomed had passed by this town on his way to 

Two Abyssinians, Debtera Hailoo, father of our 
scholar Guebra Georgis, and one of our copyists, reques- 
ted me to take them with me to oui* country. I had 
asked Hailoo to send his son with me ; to which he 
replied, that he should be glad to accompany me him- 
self ; and if I would allow this, I could take his son 
also ; but that he could not part with his son. I could 
not comply with his request, because Hailoo is married. 
The copyist said, that he had a strong desire to see 
our country, and he was not bound by any tie to his own 
country. I asked him, whether he could spend 1000 
dollars for such a journey. He answered, that he 
could not spend ten dollars. When I told him, that 


travelling was so expensive, lie asked, whetlier our 
people did not forward a poor traveller " Meente 
Maryan," (for Mary's sake.) I told him, that they 
did not understand the Abyssinian language in oiu' 
country. He replied, that he would apply to the 
study of our language ; and asked, whether they 
would not for the sake of the Virgin forward him on 
his journey. I said that they would, if he could prove 
to our people that Mary had sent him, which he could 

October 4, 1839— Priest Abba Tseddoo gave us this 
evening some details concerning the government, disci- 
pline, and usages of their Church. 

Government. — The number of priests and deacons 
which are thought necessary for each Church, is twenty ; 
one third of whom have to officiate during one week, 
while the other two thirds rest. There are, however, 
few Churches at present in this kingdom which pos- 
sess the full number, owing to the want of an Abuna, 
or Bishop, for the last eleven years, to ordain priests 
and deacons ; so that there are many Churches which 
have been shut for want of priests. During the week 
the priests officiate, they live apart from their families. 
Each priest has got a number of spiritual children. 
In one sense, all those who are imder his clerical care 
as penitents, to whom he administers absolution and 
sacrament, are his spiritual children ; but more strictly, 
the bovs who go to him to be instructed, and 
entrust themselves to his special clerical care, are called 


his spiritual sons. At the commencement of their ward- 
ship, they solemnly promise, that they will obey 
their priests, observe all the usages prescribed by the 
Chm-ch, (and, Abba Tseddoo said, the Word of God,) 
give alms to friars, to the poor, the widows and orphans ; 
and frequently take the Lord's Supper. In this manner 
they remain with the priest for several years, and then 
they decide whether they will marry ; and, if so, whe- 
ther they will devote themselves to the priesthood or 
not, or whether they give themselves to the monastic 
life. If they intend to marry, the priest has to guide 
their choice, &c. If they enter upon the monastic life, 
they have to take a vow, never to have the least inter- 
com'se with the other sex, never to look at a woman, 
nor hear her voice, nor to eat anything which has been 
di'essed by women, not even bi'ead, &c. This, of 
course, leads them to convents, where no females are 
allowed to enter. 

Discipline.* In cases of criminal intercourse with 
women, a monk is cxconnnunicatcd for twenty years ; 
a married man — whether of the clergy or the laity, — 
for forty years ; and a priest loses his office, and is re- 
moved into the laity. I asked Abba Tseddoo, what was 
done when an excommunicated person died before his 
time had transpired. He answered, that in such cases 
the priest endeavoured to prepare the dying penitent ; 

* I relate here exactly what the priest told me, not adding any re- 
marks, reserving some necessary explanation perhaps for another 


that if the latter really repented of his sins, the priest 
promised to take half the remaining time of penitence 
upon himself, and to work it out by fasting and prayer ; 
and for the other half, he endeavoured to persuade him, 
if he possessed any property, to distribute it among 
the poor, the priests, and monks; to order Tescars — 
feastings to the clergy and the poor in remembrance of 
the dead person, for the purpose of encom-aging many 
prayers for him — to see prayers performed, and the 
Lord's Supper administered in his favour; and thus 
the priest dismissed the dying person with the abso- 
lution, and then the latter would, after his death, arrive 
in the Sheol — intermediate place between hell and 
heaven — where he had to stay until by his alms, tescars, 
prayers, fastings, and communion (masses) he got to 
heaven. I asked him, whether this discipline was really 
observed. He replied, very seldom ; though it is still 
acknowledged. On my inquiring, whether they had 
any divine authority for prescribing as well as observ- 
ing such discipline, he referred to certain sentences 
which he thought were taken from the Gospel ; but 
which are derived from the Fathers. Upon showing 
him this, he appealed to the apostolical constitutions, 
and Fetha Negest — their code of laws. I answered, 
that those laws must be judged by the Word of God, 
and deviated from where they do not agree with it. I 
then showed him Luke xvi, concerning Dives and 
Lazarus, dwelling particularly on the great gulf fixed 
between heaven and hell, and the impossibility of pas- 


sing from one to the other. He said, " This passage 
must be explained." I asked, how he was able to ex- 
plain it so as to maintain his doctrine and the usage 
of his Church, without explaining it away. He 
referred to the passage : " Whatsoever ye shall hind 
on earth, 8^'c." I observed to him, that this passage 
took for granted the submission of the Apostles as well 
as their followers, the ministers of the Gospel, un- 
der the entire Word of God, and thus the terrible 
gulf was not filled up. He then related the follow^- 
iug story, which he said was contained in Athanasius' 
writings, and which I had heard once from Debtera 
Abisalom at Adowah. A certain rich man, called 
Bael, died, after having amassed many treasvu'es, 
not having cared for the state of his soul. His pious 
son, who, during his father's life-time, had often in 
vain reminded him to think on eternity, saw in a 
di-eam his soul going into hell-fire ; so that nothing re- 
mained to be seen, not even the hairs of his head, 
being wholly drowned in the fiery sea. \Yhen he 
awoke, his fearful dream had such an eficct upon him, 
that he immediately sat to work, collected one half 
of his father's treasures, and gave them to the poor 
and to the churches^ ordering prayers to be offered. 
Psalms to be read, fastings performed, and commmiion 
administered for his late father. Soon after he had 
the pleasure to see the good effect of his exertions; 
for, in another dream, he saw again the flaming abyss, 
and his father rising out of it, above its surface, up to 

G 5 


liis loins. Encouraged by this success^ he gave the 
remaining half of his father's possession for the same 
purpose as the first, and his father ascended out of 
hell -fire into heaven. In reply to this story, I told 
him, that we considered Athanasius to have been one 
of the most distinguished Fathers, and that we hon- 
oured him much on account of his manly conduct in 
struggling against Arianism for the glory of the Son 
of God, and on account of the sufferings he endured 
in that cause ; but, nevertheless, we felt obliged to 
examine into his doctrines, and such things as did not 
harmonize with the letter and tendency of the Scrip- 
tures we must reject ; and if this story, which he 
had been relating to me, was really contained in Atha- 
nasius' writings, we should reject it as anti-scriptural, 
thou2;h I doubted whether it had not been falsely 
ascribed to him. As to my own feelings, I said, that I 
could not ventm-e to pray for any dead person, however 
dear to me in this world, because St. Paul says. Whatso- 
ever is not of faith is sin; reasoning thus: — Faith is 
grounded upon the Word of God ; a faithful prayer is 
such as has a Divine command, and a Divine promise 
for its basis. Now as to dead persons, we have neither 
Divine command nor promise encouraging us to pray 
for them ; and, consequently, we cannot pray in faith, 
if we really pray for them ; and not being able to pray 
in faith, our prayer, instead of being answered, would 
be counted as an addition to our numberless sins. And 
a further proof of this, was James i. 6, 7 ; iv. 3. The 


fact was, that we believed the fate of mortals, at least 
those to whom the Word of God was given, to be 
decided immediately after death — Luke xvi ; Hebrews 
ix. 27. Here was the seed-time, and hereafter the har- 
vest ; and he that died in sin, for him w^as no further 
sacrifice ; and even if we should suppose that God had 
provided means for their salvation, as they were not 
within our reach, nor knowledge, we could by no means 
make any use of them. He answered, that it w^as true 
that those who died in sin, had nothing but darkness 
before them ; but that from behind this world, there 
fell some few rays of Hght into their path, which tended 
to lessen their dark night a little ; and if they made a 
proper use of these rays, they would increase, and by 
degi-ees lead them to full light. This is in itself an 
ingenious idea ; but, who will lighten the w^ay for the 
dead, as well as for the living, if not that ivord, tvhich 
is a lamp u?ito my feet, and a light unto my path ? 

Marriage. — With regard to mamages, he said that 
their Chm*ch permitted successive marriages : with lay- 
men as many as four. They, however, do not cpiitc 
agree with each other, some Churches not allowing more 
than three. If people wish to live in accordance wnth 
the Church, they are obliged, after their last marriage, 
to enter the monastic life, not, however, as it seems, with 
the same restrictions as the regular Abyssinian monas- 
tic order. 

Fasting. — Concerning fasting, he mentioned, that 
many people did not observe the forty-days fasting (of 


Lent), nor the fast of the Apostles (after "\Aliitsun- 
dav, of twelve days continuance) ; nor that of the 
Vh-gin's assumption (a fortnight) nor Tsoma Ledat 
(Advent) ; but he that observed no fasting at all, woidd 
not be interred in the Church's burial ground. I asked, 
how it was that so many people scarcely ever fasted. 
He replied, that they still fasted every Wednesday and 
Friday ; and that they were not admitted to the Com- 
munion, except they made penances for their non-ob- 
servance of the Saint's fastings. An honourable burial, 
however, was not refused to them. I asked him, whe- 
ther they would bury us, since we did not observe their 
fastings. He said, that they would; for our Church 
did not prescribe fasting. He then related of Abba 
Mohallem — a certain Armenian Wortabet, of the name 
of Yohannes, who died here last year — that he had not 
fasted at first, and had even eaten meat on Wednesdays 
and Fridays, whereby the people of Shoa thought that 
the Armenian Chuch had no fastings ; but that after they 
had several times m-ged him to fast, he at last yielded, 
complying with the Abyssinian custom. 

Many have asked from us the famous " medicine of 
colours." To-day a boy, belonging to St. Michaers, 
mentioned it again ; but I was glad to observe that he 
was not so superstitious ; for he remarked, that that 
medicine indeed produced pain in the bowels, but 
did not open the head. 

October 5, 1839 —To-day Abba Tseddoo brought us 
a Genzet — formulary for the burial of the dead — which 


they say originated witli Athanasius ; and in order to 
render it still more important, it is stated in the book 
itself, that Helena had discovered it, at the digging 
out of the Holy Cross. At the same time, however, 
the councils of Nice, Constantinople, and Ephesus are 
mentioned in it, whereby it is clear that it cannot 
have been wn-itten by Athanasius, at least not in its 
present form. 

This evening a messenger arrived from the King, 
who ordered us to come to Angollala to-morrow, when 
probably my departure will be settled. 

October 8 — The day before yesterday it rained so 
heavily in the morning, that we feared we should not be 
able to go to Angollala ; but on the sky clearing up 
in the afternoon we set out. We had, however, not 
gone far, when it began again to rain tremendously ; we 
could but \nth difficulty and danger pass the toi*rent 
Airara — about three miles west of Ankobar — and the 
road was so bad, that we were obliged to remain at 
Metatit. There we took our lodgings with the Tchikka 
Shum — literally, governor of the clay or dirt — whose 
duty it was to receive us. When I saw them smoking 
tobacco, I asked, whether they did it to honour the 
Sarotsh (See Oct. 2), which they at fii'st denied, but 
afterward acknowledged : I took this opportunity to 
show them the sinfulness of doing so. 

Yesterday morning at seven o'clock we left INIctatit, 
and about three o'clock in the afternoon arrived at An- 
gollala. The house where we lived formerly, was now 


occupied by its ovAoier, Habta Maryam. Wliile Atkoo, 
our guardian, looked out for another house, I went to 
see M. Rochet, who had been received by the King into 
his house. The court was quite full of people; for the 
King had guests wdth him, among others a late General 
of Ras Ali. "When waiting on the minister, Serta 
Wold, Mahomed Ali, from Tadjurra, who had accompa- 
nied M. Rochet, accosted me. Serta Wold introduced 
me, not to M. Rochet, whom on the present occasion I 
had come to see, but to the King, who sat at judgment 
in unusual pomp, the balcony where he sat being lined 
with a great variety of coloured cloth, and the ground 
below, where his grandees and governors, judges, ala- 
cas, &c., sat and stood, covered with Persian and Tur- 
kish carpets. I paid my compliments from below to 
the King, who very friendly answering ordered me to 
sit on the carpets. A cause was examined between two 
persons, a man and a woman ; which was soon finish- 
ed, when I thought the King would have sent for us ; 
but he did not, being occupied I suppose with other 
business. As Mr. Krapf had also arrived in the mean 
time, we inspected a new house which was being built 
for the King, and then went to see M. Rochet, who 
was suffering from fever. 

A few Letters from Basle, Barmen, and Cairo, which 
M. Rochet brought us, were very refreshing to us. 

October 9, 1839 — The brother of our friend Alaca 
Habta Selassieh at Oobieh^s court, known from Mr. 
Gobat's and our former journals, having several times 


applied for medicine, I liad ordered him to collect camo- 
miles, which are fomid in great plenty on the Chakka 
and near Ankobar, called to-day again ; and when 1 
offered to him tartar emetic for his complaint, he would 
not accept it, but asked for paper, on which he wished 
to have a charm written against his disease. I refused 
to give him the paper, explaining the sinfulness of 
such a practice to him ; and being exceedingly pressing, 
I was obliged to request him not to speak any more 
about it. 

After dinnci', Debtera Sandjar called on us. Some 
very important doctrinal points were treated upon in 
oiu" conversation, particularly universal sinfulness, not 
excepting the saints. He maintained that Christ at His 
incarnation took on himself human nature, in the same 
state as Adam was before the fall ; with which I agreed, 
obsernng, however, that his nature differed from Adam^s 
innocent nature so far, that Christ's humanity was not 
exempt from sinless infirmity and disposition to dis- 
eases, and even death ; which was the consequence and 
punishment of our sin. Tliis I proved by some circum- 
stances in the life of our Sa\dour ; namely, that He hun- 
gered and thirsted, underwent fatigue, and other states 
of weakness and sickness, which could not be sup- 
posed to have occurred in the state of Adam's innocence. 
"When, by way of illustration, I observed, that when a 
man suffered hunger for a long time he would die, and 
death was the wages of sin, he denied the force of this 
argument, because all the cases in which this occurred 


were with sinful men, all men being sinners. I then 
alluded to some saints, who had been starved to death, 
not on account of their sins, but for the name of Jesus, 
because they believed in Him. He objected, that we 
ourselves maintained, that even the saints had not been 
free from sin, and on this account, were subject to death ; 
whether it was then from hunger or any other cause 
they died, it mattered nothing. I must observe, that 
1 had taken this argument, inconclusive as it really was, 
because I took for granted, that he, like the Abyssin- 
ians in general, believed the saints to be free from sin. 
I asked him then, whether he agreed with us in this 
material point. He answered, " Yes, I fully agree ^^•ith 
you." I replied, that on this assertion I did not 
mind yielding for the present to him the other point 
as non-essential, since he submitted to that chief doctrine 
of the Scriptures, that no man except Christ ever had 
been or was without sin ; upon which he repeated his 
strong belief in this doctrine. He then left us, with the 
promise often to call, in order to search the Scriptures. 
October 10, 1839 — This morning the King sent for 
us, in order to sj)eak with us concerning my journey. He 
asked what he should give me for my journey ; to which 
I replied, thanking him for his readiness to assist me, 
and obser\ing that it was om- principle not to trouble 
any one ; but as he was so generous toward us, I 
should thankfully accept what he was pleased to give. 
He offered to give me tlii-ee or fom* slaves. Not know- 
ing whether he intended to give male or female slaves, 

THE king's proffered assistance. 137 

I at once declined accepting any, on the general prin- 
ciples which he finds it so difficult to comprehend, since 
we had stated them several times before. IMale slaves 
I should perhaps have been disposed to accept, giving 
them theii- liberty at the same time, and trying to edu- 
cate them afterward. He then requested me to men- 
tion to him anything which was liked in oui- country. 
I then mentioned manuscripts and any works of art, 
from which it might be seen how far the Abyssinians 
were advanced in industry. He asked me to specify the 
manuscripts I wished for ; but when I did so, he express- 
ed himself soiTy at not being able to let me have them, 
he himself being in want of them. He said, that 
he had sent fifty dollars to Godjam in order to get two 
copies of their chronological work called Abooshaker. 
Concerning our provisions, he said, that he had given 
orders for them already, as well as a mule for 
myself, and one for my servant. On requesting him 
to inform me what he wished for from our country, he 
said, that he wished for nothing, except a coining 
apparatus. I asked him, whether he wanted any work- 
men. He replied that he did not, because there were 
excellent workmen then on the road from Gondar. He 
then dismissed us, declaring that he intended to send us 
to-morrow. — Soon after, Serta Wold, presented me with 
some fine baskets from the King, and in the afternoon 
he brought two fine nudes, one for me, and one for the 
servant, and fifty dollars for me, and ten for the ser- 
vant, as the King's present for our journey. 


October 13, 1839 — To-day, I arrived at Ankobar from 
Debra Berhan, mth my brother Isenberg, who had 
taken his farewell of the King. He treated him in 
a very friendly manner, and promised not only to pro- 
vide for Mr. Isenberg on the road, but also always to 
behave toward me as his son. In the evening several 
people came to see us, and among others Tseddoo, a 
priest of St. George, who began speaking about fasting. 
He said, that our doctrines and lives were blameless, 
only they would like us to fast, and receive with them 
the blessed sacrament. We replied, that we were much 
inclined to yield to their wish in respect to fasting, if 
it were not that we were grieved at seeing them aiming 
to be justified thereby before God As to the Lord^s 
Supper, I remarked, that, though I wished to receive 
it, I could not do so, as their ecclesiastical laws ex- 
cluded unmarried people from partaking of it. Besides, 
I had other reasons for not communicating with them. 
After the priest had left me, I thought it fit to consult 
with Brother Isenberg on this point before he departed. 
First, we considered that the omission of fasting had 
been a continual stumbling-block in the eyes of the 
Abyssinians since the commencement of our Mission 
in this countiy ; secondly, that fasting is not sinful 
in itself, and hence not against the principles of the 
Bible, nor the Church of England ; and thirdly, we 
referred to the examples of the apostles, particularly 
to that of St. Paul, who though he strictly adhered to 
justification by faith, yet condescended in this respect 


of his own accord to the weakness of his brethren. 
Relying on this great example, we thought we could, 
with the Lord's assistance, resolve to fast, but only 
^■oluntarily and out of love to our brethren, not seeking 
thereby om* own righteousness. However, we thought it 
fit not to act rashly in this matter. 

October 16 — In the morning Guebra Georgis came. 
I read fii-st with him in the Gospel, and afterward we 
finished the Universal Histoiy, which Mr. Isenberg 
had written in Amharic. As Guebra Georgis has ex- 
pressed a wish to become acquainted with Church 
Histor}^, I shall accede to it, the more so as a useful 
preparatory woi-k, wi'itten likewise by Mr. Isenberg, 
will form the basis of my instruction. Afterward, the 
blind Debtera Habta Mariam, fi-om Basso in Godtsham, 
came. I had begun, the day before, to read to him the 
Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, which Epistle I 
prefer in reading or speaking about religious matters, 
as it contains before all other books an antidote against 
this Pharisaical Church. The above named priest, 
Tseddoo, joined me in reading to Habta Mariam. We 
read Rom. ii. ; which occasioned a long conversation 
about real and nominal Christians. Then Alaca Tesfa 
came to see us. He said, that Abraham was the 
father of the Abyssinians, because Solomon had a son, 
named jMenelek, by the Queen of Arabia, who had 
been Queen of Tigre ; and that at the time of Solomon 
the tribe of Benjamin had entered Ethiopia, and the 
ark of the covenant had been brought from Jerusalem 


to Tigre. We told him^ first^ that there were no proofs 
in history that the queen was the mistress of Tigre at 
that time, or that she bore a chikl to Solomon; 
and, secondly, that Solomon was from the tribe of Judah, 
which tribe at this splendid period of the kingdom of 
Israel would not have left the holy land. As to the 
ark of the covenant, it was at Jerusalem several hundred 
years after Solomon ; and to appropriate a stolen 
sanctuary (because the Abyssinians say that the ark 
was stolen from Jerusalem) would be a sacrilege for ever 
disgraceful to the Abyssinian people. TVTiy did they 
not steal also the holy books of the Jews ? It is not 
probable that a sanctuary was stolen, over which the 
Jews had exercised the greatest watchfulness. Besides, 
more than 300 years after Christ's birth, at the time 
of their King's Abreha and Azbeha, the Abyssinians 
were heathens, worshipping the serpent ; how then could 
they have been Jews ? Finally, we exhorted him to 
study biblical and universal history. 

In the afternoon, we went to see Alaca Wolda 
Hanna. He asked about the day on which Christ was 
born and baptized. On replying that this was not 
precisely known, but that the ancient Fathers of the 
Church, ])articularly Chrysostom, appointed the 25th 
of December, as the day of Christ's birth, he said, 
" We know it very well ; Christ was born on the 29th 
of December, and was baptized on the 11th of 
January." We then spoke about the chronology before 
Christ. He said, that the Abyssinians counted nearly 


6000 years, proving this date from tlie three men 
praising God six times in the furnace. A treatise on 
the true interpretation of Scripture, treating its subject 
vnih. soHdity and conciseness, in the Amharic, or rather 
in the Ethiopic language, would I think contribute 
much to the removal of their false principles of the 
exposition of the Bible. On our way we called upon 
Alaca Serat. He spoke about the idolatry of the 
Hindoos, of which he had heard something in geogra- 
phy. We told him about the millions of their deities ; 
their absurd and cruel ceremonies ; and remarked, that 
the Word of God, if preached in purity and in the 
power of the Holy Ghost, would alone destroy the 
bulwarks of Satan. We related to him the history of a 
Brahmin, who, having put nails in his shoes, made a 
pilgrimage to a holy place, but was converted by a 
Missionary preaching on John i. 29. 

October 17, 1839 — Chm-ch History with Guebra 
Georgis and Makbeb. Guebra is taking delight in this 
study. After we had finished our lesson, Laaka Mariam, 
the Guraguean priest, whom I have mentioned before, 
came to see me. I said, that I had thought he had gone 
back to his country. We then read 2 Cor. v. I re- 
minded him of the great day of the Lord, before whom 
we wished to appear blameless ; and exhorted him 
to yield up his whole heart to Jesus Christ, and to 
teach his people in Gurague the Word of God. He 
then said, " I am much afraid of the Gallas on the 
road. I therefore request you to give me an Abenat 


(remedy) against my fear." At the same time he asked, 
whether if he carried on his head the copy of the New 
Testament which I had given him, it would be of any 
use. I replied, that the specific which I would advise, 
was the reception of the New Testament into his heart, 
and to commit himself and his way to the covenant God, 
who alone could preserve him, as he had protected us 
when travelling through the country of Adel. 

Priest Tseddoo then came, and conversed with me 
about the revealed and hidden church ; terms which in 
our theology, signify the visible and invisible church. 
I asked him, whether the people called Tabiban, or 
wise men, dwelling in the forest of Ankobar, were not 
ranked by the Shoans among the hidden church. He 
answered in the negative ; and said, that the Tabiban 
joined outwardly in fellowship with the Christians, but 
privately they followed their own religion, asserting that 
the Messiah was still to be expected. This people are 
working for the King, who presents them annually with 
twenty or twenty-five cows, and appoints their Alaca in 
case of vacancy. On speaking again about fasting, our 
servant Atkoo made use of a strange simile, saying, 
that if a mule was foddered too well, he woidd become 
unmanageable, and hence it was necessary to diminish 
his food. Thus fasting was a means of cooling and 
abating our flesh. First, I contended against this unbe- 
coming comparison between irrational animals and a 
Christian, who is bidden to eat and di'ink moderately, 
and to do all in the name of God and then I opposed 

FASTING. 14^3 

their stniggling for justification by fasting, turning his 
thoughts also to the bad consequences of their fasting 
as respects the body, saying, that at one time they aspired 
at killing their bodies by their abstemiousness ; while, 
at another time, they ate and drank to excess. In the 
one case, they were unable to work ; and, in the other, 
they swept away each other by enmity, hatred, and 
mm'der. Though he disputed my sapng that they 
killed themselves by fasting, yet he said that I had 
spoken the truth. 

October 18, 1839 — Ha\dng read with Guebra Georgis 
in the Gospel, I proceeded with the Chm'ch History. 
Several priests were also with us. Tseddoo brought a 
book called Tabiba Tabiban, much esteemed by the 
Abyssinians. It contains prayers against bad spirits. 
In the afternoon I went to see Abba Sawold, a monk, 
who is considered one of the most learned men of Shoa. 
He spoke about their seven chronologies ; but I found 
that all his wisdom is comprehended in their almanack, 
called Abooshaker. Afterward, I went on with Guebra 
Georgis in Church History, speaking about the Chris- 
tian life of the primitive Church. Tseddoo then asked 
about the qualifications required in oiu* ordination. 
A\Tien I told him, that a man destitute of learning and 
holy life, was not admitted to the ordination of a dea- 
con and priest, he was much struck, and said, " If this 
is required, we should succeed very badly in ordination." 
I then asked, what qualifications they required, and their 
mode of ordination. He said, that children dare not 


know about this mystery ; that a person desirous of 
ordination from the Abuna, was asked, whether he un- 
derstood reading the Gospel ; which if he did, the Abuna 
breathed upon him, making the sign of the cross and 
having thus taken orders he receives the holy Supper, 
gives several pieces of salt to the Abuna, and the whole 
ceremony is finished. I spoke against the wanton man- 
ner in performing so holy a ceremony, and brought it in 
connexion with the corruption of the Abyssinian Church, 
obserWng, that if priests were unlearned men, their 
flocks woiddperish in ignorance ; and that if they did not 
live a holy life, the people would follow their example. 
Tseddoo then asked, why we did not wear a turban and 
a cross, as we were priests. I remarked, that the Word 
of God had not given us directions about the mode of 
dress, which varied in different countries and chm'ches. 
As to the cross, we wished it to be in om* hearts and 
doctrine, — to crucify, as Paul says, the flesh with its 
lusts, and to know nothing save Jesus Christ and him 
criLcified. I then rebuked him, on account of their pha- 
risaical doings, and of their putting flesh for spirit, and 
external performances for inward religion. He then said, 
that St. Paul, in healing sick persons, made the sign of 
the cross. I asked him to give me a proof from the 
New Testament ; but being rather puzzled, he said, " I 
will give you a proof to-morrow." 

October 19, 1839 — Tseddoo came very early this 
morning ; but instead of giving me a proof of what he 
had said yesterday, he maintained that the wood of which 


the cross of Christ was made^ was called Wetckua, as is 
written in the book of Taniera Jesus. This matter led 
to a long chscourse about the difference between the 
Word of God and that of men. As in the mean time 
several people had come, I read the third chapter of 
Genesis, showing them the necessity of relying only 
upon the Word of God ; when a priest from Kuara, a 
province in the west of Dembea, began to speak about 
good works, referring to ^latt. xxv. 34 — 41. I ap- 
plied the aforesaid discom-se about the Word of God 
to him, sapng, that the Scriptm'es only could teach us 
what was a good work ; and that as the Abyssinians 
did not rely alone on that Word, I did not wonder at 
their confused and unscriptui-al views of good works. 
Finally, I exhorted them to examine themselves in the 
pm-e light of God's Word, in order to really know 
their sinfulness, and to repent ; to seek forgiveness 
through the blood of Christ ; and the experience of His 
love, by which they would be enabled to perform good 
works ; but that if they would not hear the voice of 
the Gospel, they would die in their so-called good 
works, or rather sins, and have to bewail their folly 
with the lost for ever and ever. 

Several boys afterward came, \nth whom I first read 
in the New Testament, and then I began to make them 
acquainted with the Universal History in Amharic. 
On their leaving, I asked how many boys were in the 
school of St. George. They said, that twenty boys were 
instructed in singing, ten others in reading, and thirty 



exercised themselves in poems, all of whom were in- 
structed by six teachers ; and that if the Abuna should 
come, they would all go to Gondar, to take holy orders. 
On my asking, whether they were not afraid of the 
Gallas on the road, they said, that the King would 
charge a Galla Governor to take care of them on the 

October 20, 1839 — Tseddoo came, requesting me to 
read with him Matt. v. in iEthiopic, which I did. 
Speaking about proceedings before human judges, I 
asked how justice was administered in Shoa. Guebra 
Georgis, who was with us, said, that on a man^s being 
accused of theft, he was taken into three chm'ches, in 
each of which he took oath of not having stolen. If 
he be iipright and guilty, he confesses his sin before 
he is ordered by the priests to swear, retm-ns the stolen 
goods, and pays, as a fine, eight pieces of salt to the 
Governor. If the accuser should make oath against 
him, the man is forced to return the goods charged upon 
him, whether he may have stolen them or not. After- 
ward, I read Rom. iii. to the blind Debtera Habta 

October 22 — Tseddoo turned the conversation upon 
baptism, saying, that a father who did not bring his 
child to the font on the fortieth day after birth, would 
be excommunicated ; and that when the child had been 
baptized, the holy supper was administered to it. I ob- 
jected to this as being inconsistent with 1 Cor, xi., where 
every one is exhorted to examine himself before he 


receives that Supper. Besides, it was inconsistent 
with the words of the institution of that sacrament, 
according to Matt, xxvi., where Christ commanded it 
to be received in remembrance of Him, which childi*en 
are incapable of. He admitted that their custom was 
not in accordance with the Scriptm-es. While we were 
engaged in our discourse, the above-mentioned monk, 
Abba Sawold, interrupted us, and commenced speaking 
about the two great witnesses in the Revelation of St. 
John. He said, that the Abyssinians were of opinion, 
that these were Elias and Enoch. I said, that we did 
not know this ; that as the prophecy was not yet 
accomplished, we could not know ; and that it did not 
become us to explain the "Word of God in accordance 
with our oyvn pre-conceptions. 

Tseddoo spoke about the instruction given to the 
Gallas intended to be baptized. They are taught, he 
said, the Symbolum Nizenum ; then the book Amada 
Mistir and Sena Fetrat, in which books there is much 
nonsense; after which they wear a Mateb, and are 
then baptized : but usually they are not taught so 
much before they are christened. If they should 
have been circumcised, and wear a Mateb — string of 
silk in sign of Christianity — and make an offering of 
some measures of wheat to the priest, they are at 
once baptized. The Symbolum Nizenum is called Zelota 
Haimanoth. They do not know the Symbolum Apos- 
tolicum, which may be a proof that this Symbolum 
was not eveiywherc used in the Church, or, what is more 

H 2 


probable, was out of use when the Abyssinians became 

October 23, 1839— Church History with Guebra 
Georgis and jNIakbeb. Afterward, we read Matt. ix. A 
priest who Avas with us contended for the necessity of 
fasting, in consequence of the great depravity of the 
Abyssinians. "AVell," I said, "you bear \\dtness against 
yoursehes; and as to the corruptness of Abyssinia, 
you have spoken the truth ; but you are deceived if 
you maintain that yom* depravity can be destroyed by 
fasting. If you think of crucifying your flesh in this 
way, and thus deliver yoiu'selves, you renounce Jesus 
Christ as the Saviom*, who is made to us ivisdom, 
righteousness, sanct'ification, and redeinj)tion. There- 
fore, God in His just judgment permits you to fall into 
all sins, that you may know yom' real corruption, and 
seek to be saved by faith in Christ, who came to call 
sinners to repentance.'^ 

In the evening, Tseddoo brought to me a book, 
called Lefafa Zedek, which is full of nonsense. The 
Abyssinians like it so much, that they have it put into 
their graves with them. 

October 24 — I went to see the Alaca of Aferbeini, 
whose Church is in a forest on the eastern side of 
Ankobar. He spoke about fasting. Afterward, I 
read Church History with Guebra Georgis, and some 
others. T^Tienl spoke about the Nicene Council, Guebra 
said, that the Abyssinians were of opinion that Maho- 
med, the prophet of the Mahomedans, was one of the 


318 fathers congregated at Nice ; but as Satan pos- 
sessed him, he parted from the fathers. But Guebra 
Georgis knowing the time of the Nicene Council, and 
the rise of INIahomed, laughed at this ignorance of his 
people. He then asked, whether Mary corJd be called 
"WolacUta Amlak (who brought forth God). I showed 
him ]Matt. i. 16, 25, and John iii. 1 ; whereupon he 
said, " I understand it : she must be called Woladita 
Jesus, (mother of Jesus. )^^ 

October 25 — In the morning we were called by the 
Governor of the town, Ailo Tsanna. He said, that 
he had got strict orders from the King not to let jMr. 
Isenberg go before he had disclosed to him a great 
secret. On asking what this secret was, he showed us a 
bone, on which was written some Arabic characters ; and 
requested us to tell him of what use the bone was, as the 
King wished to know. Mr. Isenberg told him to throw 
the bone away, as it was quite useless; and that a 
knave must have given it to the King in the hope 
of getting a good reward. Mterward, I came with 
Guebra Georgis in Church Histoiy to the Gnostics. 
I showed him the bad consequences of a Christian 
teacher not relying solely upon the Bible. 

October 26— Two priests of Gurague came to see 
me. They had arrived at Angollala in four days from 
Aimellel. Aimellcl is on the frontiers of Gurague. 
They asked me much about my country, Jerusa- 
lem, and whether we had slaves like their country- 
men. Knowing that slavery is much practised in 


Gurague, I insisted upon proving to them both from rea- 
son and Scriptm-e, the sinfulness of this traffic. After- 
ward, the Wind Debtera Habta Mariam came, to whom 
I explained Rom. v. 

To-day we learned concerning Sidama, that it is 
situated to the west of the blue Nile, between the 
Gooderoo country and Enarea. In Sidama, Enarea, 
and CafFa, are many Christians: beyond the two 
latter countries Gallas are said to live, who, the Abys- 
sinians say, have no language. From Enarea par- 
ticularly they bring good coffee, better than that which 
is cultivated near the lake of Tsana, and the civet-cat. 
Shankelas, who live not far from the fountains of the 
blue Nile, bordering on the Agows, and go quite 
naked, are said to collect much gold, which they bring 
to Goudar for sale. From Gm-ague they bring to 
Shoa carpets, made of ensete ; gm-arima, a certain 
spice which I do not know ; some gold, and skins of 
brown leopards, which they call gisselas. The chief 
articles which are imported into Enarea, are blue Surat 
cloth, and rock salt from Arho, in the south of Tigre, 
which latter article is c\n-rent in many of these countries 
instead of money. Coined money does not seem to be 
used in the countries west and south of Abyssinia. 
Gold is found in several places. It is occasionally found, 
afterthe rainy season, near Debra Berhan,when thewater 
has washed away some of the ground, and brought the 
gold to light. Priest Laaka Maryam says, that Gura- 
gue contains much gold ; but this man is not to be 


depended upon for liis statements. The country on 
botli sides of the Tshatsha river^ not far from Angol- 
lala, is veiy rich in metals; many of the Tabiban 
have settled in small huts on its shores, where they 
dig and work ii'on. But this iron does not seem to be 
so good as the Tigre iron, which is of an excellent 

October 27, 1839 — My Galla servant, Berkie, from 
Kum Dengai, in the tribe of Gelan, gave me the following 
information about his people. The priests, who are 
called Kallitshotsh, offer an annual sacrifice to the Wake 
under a tree, called Riltoo. In offering it, they pray : 
" Wake, give us tobacco, cows, sheep and oxen, and 
help us to kill om* enemies. Wake, take us to thee ; 
lead us to the garden ; lead us not to Satan.^' They 
have also sorcerers, who are called Lubotsh — in the 
singular, Luba. These priests go every year to Woda- 
nabe, a large worka-tree, near the Hawash, where 
they make their prayers and divinations from looking 
upon the entrails of goats and sheep. If the entrails 
appear very red, the Luba says, that the Gallas will 
be overpowered by the Christians. The priests dry 
these entrails, and wear them round their necks. The 
Gallas do not like to have a Christian Governor placed 
over them, because, they say, that they would become 
Christians, and then very soon die. If they get a 
Christian Governor, they all cry together : " Ila batu ! 
ha batu ! " — May he perish ! May he perish ! When the 
Gallas take an oath they make a ditch, and say, "If we 


are forswearing ourselves, may we be cast into this pit." 
T^Tien a Galla takes a wife, her father gives her a dow- 
ry ; but if she is parting with her husband, she goes 
out empty handed. In general the Gallas take three 
wives. When the father of a family dies, the childi'en 
cut off their hair and shave themselves. They then 
slaughter a cow and eat it with their relations, but not 
before the dead is interred. Marriages are performed 
before the Abatiila, a petty governor of several villages. 
If a Gallas kills a male, he is to pay 100 Kum, 
that is to say, 100 oxen, and is otherwise punished. 
If he kills a female, he is to pay fifty Kum, or fifty 
oxen. As to the places of the dead, they are of 
opinion, that Christians, Mahomedans, and Gallas go 
to different places after death. Aloes are planted on 
their graves. As soon as the plant begins to grow, 
they say, that the soul of the dead is gone to the 
garden, to the Wake, — the God of the universe, whom 
they consider an invisible and very fine being. When 
a Galla has been detected in lying, he is despised, 
and loses his seat and vote in public meetings. Berkie 
also told me, that a species of great leopards existed 
in the province of Shoa Meda, which are fiercer than 
those of Efat, and enter into the house of the people : 
it is called Woba. I am unable to say whether it is 
the Asiatic tiger. 

I asked a priest, who was with me about the com'se 
which the Abyssinian teachers pvirsued in instructing 
youths. He said, that the boys were first instructed 


iu reading the seven Epistles, called Catholic — the 
Abyssiniaus call them Gebata Hawarjat. Afterv\'ard 
they read the Book of Revelations, the Gospels, the 
Acts, and Epistles of St. Paul, They learn by heart 
the greater part of these books. Afterward they read 
the Organon Mariam, Isaiah, AYoudassie Anilak, Hiob, 
Psalms, Synkesar, Guebra Hemamat, Gadela Georgis, 
Pentateuch, Genset, Semarie and Kenie, and Aboo- 
shaker. A learned man knomng all this is called a 
great Lik (master). Few people finish this course. 
The greater part of the scholars are content with learn- 
ing singing, as they are enabled by this to officiate in 
Church after having taken holy orders. The course of 
study is different in some parts of Abyssinia, as, for 
instance, in Godtsham, as I learned from the blind 
Debtera Habta Mariam. 

October 28, 1839— A Debtera of the Church of St. 
Mai-y's came requesting us to give him the seven colours. 
We asked, which colours he meant. He replied, Efran, 
Kai Kallem, Maseka, Afera Mesk, Kafara Lake, Sum 
el far ; but the seventh he did not know. As the Abyssi- 
niaus believe that a man who has got these seven colours 
is in possession of all wisdom, we remarked, that we 
wondered at their being so ignorant, if they knew of 
such a remedy; but as for ourselves, we did not know 
any other way of getting knowledge than by daily ex- 
ercise, and prayer for God's blessing. 

This evening I finished reading with Tseddoo the 
Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians: I have endeavoured 

H 5 


to show him from this Epistle the scriptural way of 
becoming righteous before God. The son of Alaca 
Serat came, saying, that as Mr. Isenberg was going, 
and I intended to remain in their country, I should 
follow their customs. I said, that we who are called 
Christians were to be directed by the Word of God, and 
not to encourage each other to follow human customs, 
God's Word alone showing us the way of salvation. I 
added, that I would rather encourage them to follow 
me, because if they examined my doctrine and life, they 
would find that it was more consistent with the Word 
of God, than their doctrines and lives. From that 
time he said no more about this. 

October 29, 1839 — The priest Tseddoo brought to 
me another book called, " Ridan." He then said, 
" If you go to our Church, you must kiss it before you 
enter." I said, "You must worship Him who re- 
sides in the Church, and is higher than the Chm*ch ; 
and your worship must be performed in truth and 
spirit." He then went away, but soon returned again, 
bringing with him the Abyssinian Liturgy. I found 
much therein which pleased me. I showed him our 
English Liturgy on this occasion. Afterward, a man 
of Gondar came, whom we asked about the present 
King, Wolda Dcnghel. He said that he was only a 
nominal King, and had no power at all ; that his 
annual income was 300 dollars, which he received from 
his Governors ; and besides which he has a share in the 
butter which is sold in the market place. 


This afternoon I was present at a baptismal service, 
to which INIamhera Tseddoo had also invited j\Ir. 
Krapf, but who declined the invitation. Two grown 
lip Mahomedans were baptized; one of them a man, 
a native of Gui'ague, the other a girl about four- 
teen years old, from the Dankali countrj^ both of whom 
were slaves ; with two little children, a boy and a girl. 
The service was performed under trees in the church- 
yard of St. George's. There were present several 
deacons and school boys, the persons to be baptized, 
with their respective god-fathers and god-mothers — 
each male having a god-father, and each female a 
god-mother — and the priest Tseddoo ; in all about 
twenty persons. Tseddoo with one of the Deacons, 
both clad in coloured Siu'at cloth, were the chief agents. 
The semce commenced in the greatest possible disor- 
der, all running to and fro. A deacon began to sing, 
and exhorted to prayer ; whereupon all joined to make 
a great clamour, singing the Wadassieh INIariam. A 
large broken jar, instead of the baptismal font, was then 
brought ; when, after a little more singing, the Priest 
Tseddoo inquired after the persons to be baptized, 
their god-fathers and god-mothers, and then laid his 
hands on the heads of the candidates. The Nicene 
Creed and the Lord's Prayer were then repeated, and 
the third Chapter of St. John's Gospel read with the ut- 
most rapidity. The baptismal jar was then filled \\ith 
water, and consecrated in the following manner. 
Tseddoo held it over a censer filled with frankincense. 


having an iron cross in the other hand ; and bowing 
himself over the water, sang, " Blessed be the Father, 
and the Son, and the Holy Ghost ;" then raising his 
voice as loudly as he could, exclaimed, " One Holy' 
Father," at the same time di-awing the cross through 
the water in a cross direction, and touching the jar on 
four opposite parts in the form of a cross — " And one 
Holy Son " — repeating the same ceremony — " And one 
Holy Spirit," performing the same act, while the by- 
standers sang. The candidates then approached, led or 
carried by their sponsors, Tseddoo and the assisting 
Deacon each took from the sponsors one candidate, 
carrying the children under the arm, and taking 
the grown-up candidates by their beads, and made 
them worship in a circle, toward the fom- direc- 
tions of the horizon, the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Spirit. The childi-en were then taken up, and 
dipped in the water up to the loins ; first in the name 
of the Father ; then in the name of the Son, and, 
in the name of the Holy Spirit, they were quite im- 
mersed under the water, when the words were pro- 
noimced : " N. N. I baptize thee in the name of the 
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." The two 
grown up individuals were ordered to undress themselves 
entirely, and sit on the ground. A bason full of water 
was then three times poured over them, with which 
they were ordered to wash themselves so that the water 
might be taken to every part of the body, the priest at 
the same time repeating with each of them the words 


of baptism: ''N. N. I baptize thee, &c." Tliey then 
presented to the priest a horn full of merom — the sacred 
oil — into which four cotton cords were dipped ; one of 
which the priest took out for each person baptized, with 
which he made the sign of the cross on theii- foreheads, 
and then tied it round their necks, pronouncing a bless- 
ing over each of them. They then sang again, and thus 
the service was finished. After this, all went into the 
Church, in order to see the communion administered to 
the newly baptized persons. I also entered the Church, 
to witness that rite ; but as it lasted too long, I could 
not persuade myself to stay to the close. 

October 30, 1839 — The man of Gondar, who was 
with us yesterday, called again to-day. We asked him 
about the Zelanes, a people mentioned in Mr. Gobat's 
Joiirnal, He said, that the Zelanes of Amhara were 
the same as those called in Shoa, " Abelam ; " and 
that both are wandering shepherds, and have the same 
religious ideas with other Abyssinians ; and that in 
Shoa, an Alaca is placed over them. He added, that 
they were a good people. The people, called Falashas, 
he said on Good Friday butcher a she-goat, which they 
hang up and lash, to put an affront upon the Messiah 
of the Christians. He also informed us, that there was 
another people called Figen, dwelling in the district of 
Baksa, in the province of Kuara, who have no religious 
communion, either with Christians or Mahomedans. 
Figen means "bad," and they are said to be mur- 
derers and sorcerers, and able by their enchantment 


to fix the elephant on a certain spot, so that he cannot 
move. They kill this beast, and sell its teeth to the 
people of Kuara and Agow. The Kamauntes, he said, 
dwell particularly in Dembea, Woggora, and Kerker. 
They have priests and receive baptism ; but are said to 
practise particular ceremonies in the forests. They 
have a great esteem for the cactus plant, from which 
they think that mankind had its origin. They call 
God, "the glory." "WTien any of them dies, they pre- 
pare a great Tescar. They will only eat the meat which 
has been slaughtered by the Abyssinians on Satui'day. 
I do not know whether the Abyssinians are prevented 
from eating with them ; but if they eat with a Falasha, 
they are excommunicated by the priests. The Woitos, 
another kind of people, are dwelling on the shores of 
the lake in Dembea, where they hunt after the hippo- 
potamus, the flesh of which they like as well as that of 
other beasts, which the Abyssinians detest. This people 
are like the Wato people among the Gallas, as I shall 
mention hereafter. 

I began to-day to study the Galla language with the 
assistance of my Galla servant. 

November 1, 1839 — Several priests and Debteras 
came to see us. One of them received the Acts and 
the Epistles of St. Paul. Arkadis, the teacher of our 
Guebra Georgis, complained of Guebra's leaving his 
school and being too much with us. I requested him 
to let the boy come to me when he had finished his 
lesson in school ; which he promised to do. 


November 2 — Guebra Georgis did not come to-day. 
I understand that having become too free in opposing 
the Abyssinian errors, his father, as well as his teacher, 
had endeavom'ed to draw him away from me, or at least 
to let him come very seldom for my instruction. In the 
afternoon I read in Genesis with sLx boys, who have 
come to me from different Churches. A Debtera hearing 
me speak about sin and death, represented the con- 
nexion of sin and death in these words : " Sin is the 
needle, and death the thread." 

November 3, Lord's Day — To-day I read with 
Guebra Georgis the first five chapters of Exodus ; and 
then read Chm-ch History \\\i\i him, as far as the pro- 
pagation of the Gospel through Gregorius Illimiinator 
in Armenia, and through Trumcatus and Edesius in 

November 4 — To-day I began to read the Epistle 
of St. James with Tseddoo, showing him the connexion 
there is between good works and real faith, which is 
preached so strongly by St. Paul. In the afternoon 
we heard that the Governor had made ready the provi- 
sions for Mr. Isenberg, and that Wulasma ]\Iahomed 
had sent word to set out immediately. 



November %, 1839 — Mr. Isenberg departed to-day, 
and I accompanied him to Farri, on the ft-ontier of 

November 12 — This morning I bid farewell to my 
Brother Isenberg, recommending him to our covenant 
God, on his long jom-ney. IVIy heart was deeply moved, 
and I could not but weep, knoA\dng that I was alone in 
this country. The words of Christ, Lo, lam with you 
alway, even unto the end of the tcorld, strengthened 

November 13 — Tlie King retm*ned from his expedi- 
tion against the Gallas in jNIugher. M. Rochet, who 
had accompanied the King, gave me some particulars 
about this exnedition. They marched, he said, through 


the tribes of Abedtshoo^ Gelan, Woberi, Betsho, Mugher, 
and Fajab ; that among the tribe Fajah, they found, on a 
mountain, twelve churches, and a number of Christians, 
who had been preserved a long time in the midst of 
barbarous heathens ; and that twenty Gallas had been 
killed on this expedition. 

November 14 — Alaca Sekima came to see me in 
the morning. He told me about some ancient saints, 
who had pulled out their eyes and cast them before 
\'ultures, and who had rode on lions. I said, that if they 
did that, they were not saints, because a saint kept 
God's ^\'ord, which connuands us not to mutilate our 
bodies ; and that a true saint humbled himself under 
the grace of God ; and employed his powers of body 
and soul in the service of his jVIaker and for the good 
of his fellow-creatures. 

In the afternoon, I went to see Alaca Wolda Hanna, 
who is sick. Afterward, the King's boy brought me a 
sheep and some bread, and asked whether I wanted 
an)i;hing else ; adding, that as my brother Isenberg had 
left, the King felt a tender care for me. 

November 15 — The boy came again and inquired 
after my wants. The blind Habta Mariam came, to 
whom I explained Rom. viii. and ix. 

November 16 — Studying the Galla language. In 
the Scripture lessons I read Col. ii. and iii., explain- 
ing to my people the duties of childi'cn, fathers and 
mothers, servants and masters. 

To-day Tseddoo spoke about Saturday, which they 


celebrate something like the people of Godtsham. I said^ 
" The Word of God commands us to work six days, and 
to rest on the seventh ; but you say, that people should 
labom* five days, and rest from work two days. As 
regards the Day of rest, you do not strictly keep Satur- 
day or Sunday ;" proving my words by referring to their 
actions. I then told him how it was that in the pri- 
mitive Church both days were celebrated, and that the 
celebration of Saturday was abrogated afterward. 
Finally, I showed him the necessity of resting in God 
every day. He then said, that Christ was born on Sun- 
day, as it is written in the book of Sena Fetrat. On 
asking him for pi'oofs of the divine authority of this 
book, he was silent. My Galla servant told me, that 
his people paid great reverence to the Lord's Day ; that 
they did not work on that day, nor sleep with their 
wives ; and that they rose up early before day break, 
to pray to the AYake. They call the Sunday, Sanbata 
Gadda — Great Sabbath — in opposition to Sanbata 
Tena, which means. Little Sabbath. 

November 17, 1839 — I saw this afternoon a sad 
spectacle. Five hundi-ed slaves were brought to Anko- 
bar from Gurague. WTien will the time come that 
slavery, this disgrace of mankind, will be abolished in 
all Christian countries ! 

Noveviher 18 — A Debtera, whose name is Sentshar, 
had a long conversation with me. This man is in many 
respects a perfect rationalist. On account of his con- 
troversial spirit with the priests of Shoa, he was dis- 


missed by the King, but has since been restored, and 
made the Alaca of a cliiu'cli in the neiglibom'liood of 
Machfood. He began by saying, that childi-en are 
born free from sin, white Hke snow ; and that man dies 
in consequence of his oa\ti sin. I remarked, first, that 
Adam om* first parent, was unclean before God ; and 
that he begat children in his own image. Secondly, that 
Moses declared that the thoughts and desu'es of man 
were sinful from a child. (Gen. vi. 5.) Thu'dly, that 
death is the wages of sin (Rom. \-ii. 23.) ; and that con- 
sequently as childi-en die, they cannot be without sin : 
that is, without a sinful disposition, which they inherit 
from their parents, according to Psalm li. And 
Christ also says, that lohick is horn of the flesh is flesh. 
(John iii. 6.) Fourthly, that had not Christ been born 
of the Holy Ghost, He would have been unclean like 
ourselves, and disqualified to become om* Sa\'ioui\ He 
endeavoured to invalidate this last argument, and then 
took refuge in mystical interpretations. He said, that 
God in the beginning had created heaven and earth ; 
and that heaven meant ' godly ,^ and earth ' fleshly : ' 
and that thus childi-en were born godly, but afterward 
became fleshly. I proved to him, that Moses spoke 
historically, and not mystically ; and then showed him 
the bad consequences of their mode of explaining the 
Bible. He then said, that wheat is fij-st good, after- 
ward becomes bad, and weed is seen in the field. I 
replied, that it cannot be otherwise, because the earth 
has been cursed on account of the sin of Adam ; so 


that now it is the uatiu'c of the earth to bring forth 
weed, and wall not produce good fruit unless it is 
cultivated. Thus the nature of man being corrupt, 
cannot but produce corruption, if not renewed by 
the Holy Spirit, according to John iii. He then in- 
sisted upon maintaining that man becomes sinful by 
outward seduction. I replied, that the seduction was 
first inward, as St. James clearly shows, (chap, i.) ; that 
from the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, 8^'c. 
Matt. XV. Besides, if sin originated only in outward 
seduction, why did they not flee from it, seeing its 
bad consequences in Adam ; that they had virtue and 
strength enough to do so, if they were born without 
corruption, and hence needed not a Savioui' ; but that 
the whole was a contradiction to Scripture, which tells 
us, that we cannot even think anything good, and still 
less do any real good work, so long as we are unrenewed 
by the Holy Ghost. 

November 22, 1839 — Tseddoo came to day, to speak 
about the archangel Michael, who, he said, had con- 
ducted the Israelites through the Red Sea. I replied, 
You are in contradiction with the Word of God, 1 Cor. x. 
We then spoke about the power of the priests, but were 
interrupted by Ay to Engeda, who came to see me. 
While he was with us, we read a passage in the book 
" Amada Mistir," on which I made some remarks. This 
book states, that the angel Gabriel came to Shoa in 
the figure of an old man. I asked, whether this was 
written in the Bible ? He answered in the nes-ative. 


"Well/' I replied, " why do you teach it, if you have no 
proof of it in God's Word ? " A5i:o Engeda said, that I 
had spoken the truth. In another part of this book it 
is stated that the humanity of Christ returned to His 
Deity. I said, that was an unscriptural confusion ; that 
the word became flesh, as St. John says; but that we 
could not say, that the flesh became God. We then 
spoke about saints, and that it was a sin to make them 
our mediators and Sanours. I said that if we had 
Christ, we had all with him, even the saints. The 
priest then said, " But all our books come from you, 
the people of Jerusalem." I repHed, I know that our 
fathers and those of the Oriental Church, have, in many 
things, gone astray from the truth; but that God 
knowing this before, had given His Word, and promised 
to guide us into all truth by His Spirit, that we might 
know His will and examine the doctrines of our fathers, 
on whom we were not to found our faith ; and that if 
we were to rely upon our fathers, the heathens w^ould 
say the same with respect to their religion. With re- 
gard to ourselves, the Christians of the West, I said, 
that we had, three hundred years ago, left the errors of 
our fathers and followed the pure Word of God, pro- 
testing against all human traditions and additions ; 
and therefore we were called Protestants. Tseddoo 
then said, "Well, allowing this, the principal thing is to 
keep God's word, and to impart our goods to every 
body, as Christ says. Give to him that asketh thee." 
I asked, Does God give His Spirit to wicked men, who 


will not leave tlieir sins ? He answered, that He did 
not. " But does not God," I said, give His Holy Spirit 
to those who ask for it with a real desire ? " He re- 
plied in the affirmative. "Well," I said, thus we 
should also give to those who are in want of our assis- 
tance, supposing we have the means of doing so. If 
Christ says, Give to him that asketh thee, that 
means that we should be ready to assist our fellow- 
creatures wherever and as much as we can." Afterward 
I had Church History with Guebra Georgis and others. 
Then Alaca Tesfa came begging me for a copy of the 
Amharic Psalms, which I gave him. Two Debteras 
also came and asked, whether it was true that our 
Book of Psalms contained three hundred Psalms. 
I said, that it was not; that we were content 
AA-ith an hundi-ed and fifty Psalms ; and that we should 
keep these in our hearts and become a holy people 
like David was. I then spoke about their contents 
being useful in various situations of life, and found 
fault with the Abyssinian custom of reciting them 
so often. 

November 23, 1839— During my reading with 
several boys, Sentshar came again, bringing with him 
a book called " Meelad." He said, that Christ him- 
self had maintained in John ix. that neither the blind 
man nor his parents were culpable, and consequently 
a sinful corruption did not communicate itself to 
childi'en. I said, that this passage did not at all 
prove what he wished — that he should have a regard 


to the question of Christ's disciples^ as well as Christ's 
answer — that if God inflicts great distress upon a man 
(like Job), people are ready to say, that he must have 
been a great sinner, else he would not have to undergo 
so many calamities — and that the disciples of Christ 
judging thus, asked their INIaster, whether the blind 
man before his birth committed a particular sin, or 
whether his parents had not sinned in such a manner, 
that their sin was punished in theii* son ; but that Jesus 
disowned both, saying, that the reason was that the 
works of God work might be manifested. Hence this 
passage, I said, does not speak about the connexion 
between the corruption of children and their parents ; 
but that the principal scope of it is to show, that great 
bodily calamities are sometimes inflicted upon persons 
for reasons unknown to human understanding ; and that 
we are not allowed to judge in such a case un- 
kindly, or according to our ideas about the moral cha- 
racter of our fellow-crcatm'es. Ha\ing given Sentshar 
an explanation of this passage, I proceeded to streng- 
then my former proofs of the sinful corruption in which 
children are born. A\Tien speaking about the impu- 
tation of the sin of Adam, I remarked, that though we 
became sinners on account of Adam, yet that God in 
His love did not for Christ's sake impute sin to us : 
however, we are under the law of death. He then asked, 
why we must die, as we had not deserved it like Adam. 
I said, that we must die on account of our sinful nature; 
and that supposing this were not so, yet we had deserved 


nothing; tliat God liad created our souls to immor- 
tality ; and that Christ himself died, who had not de- 
served death. Thus God could let children die, though 
they had not deserved it. In short, children are born 
with a sinful natvu-e derived from Adam ; and that on 
account of their corrupt nature are childi-en of God's 
WTath and must che. That God does not impute this 
sinful state to them as their own ; but forgives it for 
Christ's sake, and declares this forgiveness in baptism, 
and which therefore is a strong proof of man's natural 
corruption ; and that the corrupt nature communicated 
by Adam and to us by our parents, is the real source of 
om' own sins and punishment. I then spoke about the 
necessity of a mediator, and the way of receiving him. 

Afterward, Sentshar endeavoured to prove their chro- 
nology from Luke i. 26., when the angel Gabriel was 
sent to Mary in the sixth month after he had been sent 
to Zacharias. A month, he said, was a thousand years, 
because David said, one day is as a thousand years before 
God. I replied, that if he reckoned in this allegorical 
way, he must count 30,000 years, because David did not 
say that a thousand years were like a month, but one 
day. Then I showed him how our chronology is got in 
a historical way. He then spoke about a book called 
Kufahe, in which is contained what God said to 
Moses on the mountain during forty days. I said, that 
all that was necessary for us to know respecting that 
holy discourse was wTitten in the Pentateuch. A strong 
proof, I said, that we should not know what God had 


not revealed was to be found in Rev. x. 4., where St. John 
was prevented from writing what the seven thunders 
had uttered ; and that it was only human curiosity that 
wished to disclose what God had concealed. Sentshar 
then spoke about St. Mary. 

November 26, 1839 — M. Rochet communicated to me 
his plan of going to Sentshero, and returning by way of 
Enarea. A Debtera then came, and said that blasphemy 
was no sin ; but I showed him the contrary from Matt. 
XV., and the example of Michael the Archangel in the 
Epistle of St. Jude. In the evening, M. Rochet brought 
me a number of potatoes, which he had obtained from 
the King, who received them from Mr. Isenberg at 
Adowah. I planted them, and they have gro^Mi up very 

November 28—1 read Rom. x. to the blind Debtera, 
and afterward went to see the Governor of the town. 
As the small-pox was said to exist in the north of Shoa, 
I asked Guebra what remedy was used in Abyssinia 
against it. He said, that they made an incision in the 
fore arm, and put therein the lymph from an infected 
person, covering it with wool. This operation stood the 
test, as Guebra himself had experienced. The scar 
was still to be seen on his arm. The vaccination of 
Europe is not yet known to the Abyssinians, they being 
content with the inoculation of the small-pox. How- 
ever, they do not think of inoculating, till the small- 
pox has broken out in their neighbourhood. When 
the disease exists at x\nkobar, the King retires to the 



village of ]\Iacliel Wans, where no one is admitted to his 
presence, as he is in great fear of being infected. Mer- 
chants and travellers are also prevented from entering 
Shoa. Thus we have an example of a cordon militaire 
in Abyssinia. 

November 29, 1839— Studying the Galla language. A 
Debtera asked me, vi-hether it would be sin if he took a 
second wife, his fii-st having died. I directed him to Rom. 
vii. 2. He was surprised at not having before seen my 
meaning in this passage. When we spoke about fast- 
ing, I remarked, that a new birth, and not fasting, was 
the condition of entering into the kingdom of Christ. 

November 30 — Debtera Habta Selassie came to see 
me. He spoke about the bush of Moses, which he ex- 
plained as being applicable to Mary, she having brought 
forth Christ without being consumed. This matter led 
me to remark on the necessity of interpreting the 
Scriptures in a historical and grammatical way. After- 
ward, our Workie began to dispute vehemently mth me, 
saying, that it was insolent to maintain that Mary had 
other childi-en besides Christ. I read Matt. i. 25 ; 
Mark iii. 32—35 ; John i. 3 ; Acts i. 14 ; 1 Cor. ix. 
5 ; and said, that from these passages we might con- 
clude that Mary had childi-en by Joseph. But as he 
bitterly opposed and declaimed against the Protestant 
Chm-ches, I du-ected the discom-se to practical remarks. 
He is a selfish and self-righteous man. I should not 
wish his sons, who are educated in Dr. Wilson's 
School at Bombay, to come here as long as he resides 


in this country, as he would become rather an obstacle 
to them. 

In the evening I read an account of the late Rev. T. 
Blumhardt. I related to my people several important 
facts, which pleased them much. I much wish that a 
short history of Missions were translated into Amharic 
or ^Ethiopic. 

December 1 — Workie endeavoured to attack the doc- 
trine of the English Church respecting the Lord's Sup- 
per, and spoke about the various sects of England, of 
w^hich he had heard dming his stay at Bombay. I 
made him feel and know, in a friendly manner, that he 
was unacquainted with our doctrines and his own heart. 
I endeavour to the utmost to remain on friendly terms 
wath this proud man, as I know how much harm he 
could do to my work in this country, if he let 
loose his bitter spirit against me. We brought him 
from Cairo to this countiy without entering into an en- 
gagement with him, being then of opinion that he 
would prove useful in maintaining our connexion 
with the sea-coast ; but time has shown that he seeks 
only his own interest. 

In the afternoon Alaca Sekima called upon me. 
He spoke about Samuel, a former saint of Abyssinia, 
who rode on lions. I reminded him of what 1 had 
formerly said against this folly. He then spoke of 
Eostatius, Tecla Haimanot, and Antonius, monks who 
had each instituted a particular religious order. The 
monk Samuel has also his followers in Abyssinia. 

I -2 


Sentshar came again to dispute about the three births 
of Christ. He saicl^ that in Lukeii. 11., Christ, which 
name meant " anointed," was called so at His birth. 
Hence there were, first, His eternal birth ; secondly. His 
birth in the flesh; and thirdly, the unction of the Holy 
Ghost in the womb, which they call the third birth. I 
remarked, that they could not prove the third birth from 
the passage quoted, because the Son of God is called " the 
anointed" in Psalm ii. 2 ; and, secondly, the Prophet 
Daniel tells us his name, (chap. ix. 26.) ; consequently, 
according to their view, He must have been anointed at 
the time of the Old Testament, when the Word had 
not yet become flesh. In the same way He was called 
by the name of Jesus, (Matt, i.) before He had saved 
mankind. Christ is related to both natm'es. His being 
called " the anointed," relates only to His humanity , 
■v\hich was anointed when He was about to perform the 
work of om- redemption. You must not separate the his- 
torical connexion of the Gospel. The baptism of Christ 
and His unction of the Holy Ghost, stand in connexion 
with the beginning of His work : Matt, iii andiv. ; Luke 
iii. and iv. Sentshar is an extravagant Monophysite ; for 
he said, that the godhead died and fasted in the huma- 
nity of Christ. He then spoke about the mu-acles of 
Tecla Haimanot, who had converted a very impious 
heathen. I related to him the history of the Missions 
on the Feejee and the Friendly Islands. 

December 4, 1839 — Tliis morning I was attacked with 
fever. A sick man in this country is in a pitiable con- 


dition, as the people immediately run together^ weep- 
ing, giving their foolish counsels, and speaking of devils 
and exorcism. 

December 5 — I was much better this morning. A 
dose of tartar emetic and quinine did me good yester- 
day. Sentshar came again to dispute -, but I turned 
the discourse to real conversion, according to John iii. 
The deadness of the Abyssinians casts me down very 
often. They hear wdth one ear, and let it pass through 
the other. I finished the first chapter of John in my 
Galla translation. 

December' 7 — To-day Tsoma Ledat commenced. This 
fast is in remembrance of Christ's incarnation. The 
monks only are obliged to keep it. I read to Habta 
Mariam Rom. xii and xiii. Sentshar asked for a 
Pentateuch, which I gave him. 

December 8 — Alaca Sekima came. He said that 
I should make him my confessor, or nafs-abat ; be- 
cause if I should die, nobody would absolve me. I 
said, that it was Christ to whom I daily confessed 
my sins, and I knew that He absolves me for the sake 
of His sufferings and death ; that if Christ shut me out 
of His kingdom, the confessor could not open it to mc ; 
and that if Christ has opened, nobody can shut. Tlicn 
Sekima spoke about the late Muallcm, an Armenian, 
who was considered the Abuna of Shoa; and who, 
when angry with his servants, had thrown away all the 
Zatsh (hydromel) which was in his house. I replied, 
that it did not become a Christian, and still less an 


Abuua, to waste God's gifts. Afterward, several boys 
came, to whom I read a little tract which I had trans- 
lated, containing the essential doctrines of the 

December 11, 1839— Guebra Georgis, who some days 
ago was attacked by fever, is getting better. I gave him 
the medicine which I had found useful myself. This 
morning a Governor of the WoUo Gallas came, begging 
me for medicine against epilepsy. He said, that he had 
tried the efficacy of anmlets written by Christians and 
jMahomedans, but that they were all of no use. After- 
ward, I finished wdth Guebra Georgis the second period 
of Church History, speaking about Pelagius, Augusti- 
nus, and Origen, the latter of whom is considered a 
heretic in Abyssinia. 

December 13 — We came in Chm-ch History to Ma- 
homed. I showed that Mahomed did not know the 
nature of sin, as well as God's justice and holiness ; 
and therefore he was not in want of a Sa^doiu- ; that 
the extravagances of Christians at his time contri- 
buted much to his rising ; and that the speedy propa- 
gation of his rehgion was produced by his sword and 
fleshly religious ideas. We then spoke about Diony- 
sius Areopagita, who is highly esteemed by the Abys- 
sinians. I showed that neither Kyi'ill, Athanasius, 
nor Chrysostom, knew his works ; consequently they 
could not have been wa-itten by the Dionysius men- 
tioned in Acts x\di. ; and that it was usual at that time 
for impostors to \\Tite useless books, which they stamped 


with apostolical names to procure an access to their 
contemporai'ies on behalf of their lies. Guebra said, 
" I have understood this." I should like if a number of 
priests would study Chm'ch History. 

December 14 — This morning I reflected much 
upon going to the Gallas, being grieved at the indiffer- 
ence of the Abyssinian Christians, and encouraged 
myself to study the language of the Galla people. I 
also reflected upon the principles which I should adopt 
in my translation. I had hitherto used the Amharic 
characters ; but observing that the Galla language is no 
Semitic one, that Avriting in Amharic has many incon- 
veniences, and that perhaps the ^Vord of God may go 
forth from the Gallas to the whole of Abyssinia, I 
thought it better to use the Latin characters, employ- 
ing for the words not found in the Galla language the 
characters of the Abyssinian languages, on account of 
the national connexion of both countries. I know 
that in using foreign characters I shall be opposed by 
the Abyssinian priests, who wish nothing else but the 
J^thiopic to be circulated. May the Lord help me in 
this work to the glory of His Name ! 

December 15 — To-day I finished reading the Epis- 
tle of St. Paul to the Romans with the blind Debtera 
Habta Mai'iam. I briefly rcjieated the whole contents, 
particularly the doctrines of sin and grace, and exhorted 
this man to yield up his whole heart to Christ, who 
would give him spii'itual understanding and eternal life, 
if he received the doctrines of the Gospel into his 


heart. I then related to him the case of a poor bHnd 
woman in my country, who having heard this Epistle 
read, had retained it in her memory, and received into 
her heart, till her death, when she left this world in 
faith and triumph. 

Several priests came in the course of this day to beg 
for books. I distributed three copies of the New Tes- 
tament and a copy of the Pentateuch. They requested 
^Ethiopic copies, which I was unable to give them. 

December 18, 1839 — As the father of Guebra Georgis 
had directed me to read with Guebra the Gospel of St. 
j\Iark in ^thiopic, I complied with his w4sh ; but I also 
read it in Amharic. \\lien I have finished with him 
Church History, I intend to introduce him to the 
biblical books, having already translated a treatise con- 
taining the following points : The many ways in which 
God has revealed Himself to mankind — that the prin- 
cipal subject of biblical history is the Kingdom of God — 
the way in which the Bible took its rise — the evidences 
that the Bible is the Word of God — how the Bible 
came to us — how it is to be read — and the names of 
the Books and their principal contents. 

In the afternoon a Debtera came and spoke much 
about evil spirits, budos, and amulets. I expressed my 
gi'ief at learning that the Debteras, called Christians, 
vised from ignorance and worldly interest to write amu- 
lets for the Gallas ; showed him the uselessness and 
sinfulness of such practices ; and exhorted him to 
the duty of the Debteras instinicting their own people. 


as well as the Gallas, in scriptiu-al and other useful 

December 19 — Read with Guebra in the Gospel ; 
afterward the Introduction to the Bible. Debtera 
Habta Selassie being with us, manifested delight in this 
study. The father of Guebra came, and spoke about 
the Tabiban before-mentioned; and said, that he with 
a friend once at night listened to their prayers, when 
they prayed to the Angel Phanuel that the Messiah 
might come veiy soon. 

December 20 — Guebra with other people seeing in my 
room a Ti'eatise, printed in German, called, " The book 
of the heart of a sinner,'^ with pictures, was much 
struck ; and wished to have it in Amharic, A\nth the 
pictures. I finished Genesis with several boys who have 
come regularly for the last month. 

December 21 — To-day I received news from Tigre 
through a servant of Hadji Johannes at Adowah. I 
learned that Kidana iMariam, the former servant of Mr. 
Isenberg, had died at Jiddah, where he was mth Mr. 
Shimpei*, a German Botanist ; and that three Euro- 
peans had also arrived at Adowah, with several Catholic 

Abder Rachman, the dragoman of Mr. Rochet, came 
to see me. He is a native of Argobba. He attempted 
to prove that the Argobbanians came from Sana, in 
Arabia ; and that the Gallas entered into Abyssinia by 
way of Mecca and Jiddah. I told him that the Gallas had 
nothing common with the Arabians, either in their 


language or religion ; besides which, the Abyssinian 
books stated that the Gallas came from the south 
of Abyssinia. As to the Argobbanians, I said, that 
he wished to derive the rise of his people from the 
holy land of the Mahomedans. He then said, that 
ar (or bar) means silk ; and gobba cloth, because 
the Argobbanians had formerly worn clothes of silk, 
when they came from Arabia. As for the rest, the 
language of Argobba is said to be nearly the same as 
that of Horror. 

Two priests of Gurague afterward called, and spoke 
to me about a petty Christian empire called Cambat, in 
the south of Gurague. They also told me, that the Gallas 
pay great respect to the serpent, keeping it in their 
houses, and feeding it with milk; and that some of 
the Gallas are of opinion that the serpent was the 
father of mankind. All that these priests said was 
confirmed by my Galla servant. 

December 25, 1839 — The Alaca of Mans, whose name 
is Wolda Haimanot, came to see me. He is the Alaca 
of thirty- eight churches, and one of the most respected 
priests of Shoa, and loved even by the King. He asked 
whether there were Mahomedans in my country ; and 
then said, '^We Abyssinians drink from the well 
of the Patriarch of Alexandria." I rephed, " In my 
country we di'ink from the Word of God, from 
Christ, who said, I am the way, the truth, and the 
life." I at first thought that he came to dispute ; but 
I found him a man of no bitter spirit. He begged 


me to teach him the names of the Amharic Alphabet, 
having heard that I knew them. I complied with his 
request. I also gave him a copy of the Epistles of St. 
Paul, which he thankfully received. 

December 26 — A priest of Gurague came to see 
me. I asked him about the Gallas dwelling in the 
east of Gurague. He said, that the most powerful 
tribe was that of the Arroosi Gallas, who fought quite 
naked in battle, in order to frighten their enemies ; 
that in their country much salt was obtained and ex- 
ported to Gurague and the Galla countries in the 
neighbourhood ; and that there was a great lake, called 
Laghi. He also told me of a priest, who died several 
years ago at Ankobar, who had travelled from Shoa to 
Tadjurra, from thence to Cairo, returning by way of 
Sennar to Gondar; and that afterward he went to 
Enarea, and returned by way of Caffa, Cambat, and 
Gurague, to Ankobar, where he died. 

In the lake of Gurague, called Suai, five islands exist, 
in which the treasm-es of the ancient Abyssinian Kings, 
are said to have been hidden from Gragne when he en- 
tered Abyssinia. That there are ^thiopic books is con- 
firmed by a man whom the King sent there as a spy. The 
houses of the Guragueans are described as being much 
better built than those of Shoa, which, by the Gm-agu- 
eans, are called stables. But their houses are widely 
separated from each other; and hence much occasion is 
given to kidnappers. The main reason of this sepa- 
rated state of the Gui-agueans is, I am told, the 


enmity of the people one against the other^ and the 
total want of civil order. Children sleep by the side 
of their parents ; but^ notwithstanding this, kidnappers 
annually take a great number. These fellows break 
through the walls of the house at night, put a large 
stick upon the necks of the parents, and take away 
their children : if the children make an outcry, they 
])ut a rag into their mouths. In many houses, children 
sleep on beams placed across, in the upper part of the 
house ; but kidnappers penetrate also to that place. If 
the walls of the houses should be too strong, the 
robbers at night make a pit around the house, which they 
set on fire; when the inhabitants, going out, fall into this 
trench, and are seized, with their children. In general, the 
Guragueans are blamed as being a bad people ; as they 
have not civil authority, and are surrounded by Gallas 
and Mahomedans. The jurisdiction of Shoa is only and 
slowly extended to Aimellela, on the frontier of Gu- 
rague beyond the Hawash, If this country does not 
get soon a settled order, it will be desolated after a little 
time, because a great number of slaves are annually 
brought from thence. One brother sells the children of 
his brother ; and the people are stolen in going from 
one village to the other. 

December 27, 1839 — This morning ten priests from 
Gurague came to see me. They arrived here yesterday. 
I read with them in the Gospel, and exhorted them to 
become true followers of Christ, that they might be able 
to teach their poor people and the surrounding heathens. 


I distributed several copies of the New Testament 
among them. They told me about a country called 
Wolamo^ beyond Cambat, where there are Christians, 
but without priests at present. Beyond "VVolamo is a 
large Galla tribe, called Alaba. Mr. Ludolf has men- 
tioned the Alabas in his History. About Sentshero they 
could not tell me much. The way to Cambat conducts 
through the Adia Galla Tribes. In Gurague is a hea- 
thenish people, called Fuga. They are a wandering 
people, and eat all that the Guragueans abhor. 

December 28 — To-day my luggage arrived from Tad- 
jm-ra. The King wished to possess many of the things; 
and several priests having heard that my books had 
arrived, came to me, bringing yni\i them iEthiopic 
books, which they wished to change for iEthiopic New 

December 29 — Many people came to-day, begging 
for books and medicine. I sent a copy of the New 
Testament to the Governor of Gurague, whose name is 
Nef homus. To-day, the general Alaca of Shoa, whose 
name is Guebra, was dismissed as he had written a bad 
amulet against the King. I read in the Gospel with a 
number of boys. In an iEthiopic book, which a Deb- 
tera brought to mc in order to change it, was wi-itten, 
" Whoever shall sell this book, is cursed for ever." On 
this account people will not sell their books, but change 
them for others, or lend the book to make a copy. 

December 30 — A priest from the lake Haik, in the 
tribe of the Wollo Gallas, called upon me. He said, 


that there was a Church, called St. Stephanos, which 
was built 1300 years ago. I gave him a copy of the 
New Testament, and sent another for the Chui-ch. 
I spoke again with the King about my journey to 
Gm-ague ; but he would not allow me to go, saying, 
that if I should be killed, my countiymen would make 
him responsible. 

January 1, 1840 — A new year. May it be a year 
of gi-ace to my heart, as well as to the whole of Abys- 
sinia! "\^Tiile I was reflecting upon the past year, 
pouring out my heart in confessing my sins, and thank- 
ing the Lord for all the spiritual and temporal gifts 
which He had bestowed upon me, the King's boy came, 
delivering to me 250 dollars which Ali Arab had 
brought. I again gave thanks to God, who knows the 
wants of His people. People are continually coming 
and asking for books. Would that I had a large 
quantity ! 

January 6 — To-day I went to the King, begging 
him to change the money which I had received, a great 
part of it not passing in this country. He comphed 
wdth my request. Other people of Gurague came 
asking for books. I spoke with them a good while 
about John iii. ; and then gave them what they had 
asked for. The Guragueans are great beggars. They 
fall down at my feet, begging only for a piece of 
salt. If they go to Shoa, they appear nearly naked, 
sapng, that the Gallas robbed them on the way; 
and then they get clothes from the King, which the 


Gallas will not rob, knowing that the King would be- 
come angry with them. 

January 10 — The King departed for Angollala. 
This morning, the Lebashi was with me, begging for 
medicine. The duty of this man is to go over the 
whole country, and to take all people who are sus- 
pected of robbery. He appears to be a man of energy. 
Wolda Haimot, the son of Alaca Serat, then came 
asking me about Mahomed and his religion. I said, 
that jMahomed could not have been sent by God, as he 
taught doctrines quite contrary to the Old and New 
Testaments ; and that if he is called a messenger, he is 
the messenger of the antichrist, yea, he is himself, 
because St. John said, that whosoever denies the Son, is 
the antichrist, and this is the messenger and servant of 
Satan. I then explained to him the principal doctrines of 
Mahomed and Christ, and encouraged him to read the 
Word of God, not only to get knowledge, but particu- 
larly to the salvation of his soul. 

In the evening the priests went out to prepare the 
ceremonies of the annual festival of baptism. I also 
went out to witness them. The Tabots (holy ark) of 
the five Chm-ches of Ankobar were placed on a free 
place of the town, called Arada, where the Governor 
.of the town received them, prostrating himself with 
the people. The priests were well clothed, as well as 
the other people, because they consider the day of bap- 
tism as a day of great shelemat (splendour). The 
Churches distribute white clothes, and the other people 


borrow one from the other what they can get, to gUtter 
on this day. Then they went singing to the ri\'ulet 
Airara, at the foot of the Tshaka mountain. Having 
arrived there, the priests of each Church pitched a 
tent, singing the whole night. I returned, but intended 
to go at night to see the holy ceremony. 

January 12, 1840 — After midnight I went to the 
rivulet Airara. The ceremony of baptism had not com- 
menced ; but after the first cro^\ang of the cock it began. 
The priests of the Church St. Mary had to officiate this 
year. They had dammed the rivulet in the evening, so 
that in the morning it was considerably swollen. A 
priest stood in the midst of the water, and with a few 
words, blessed it. Then all the people, old and young, 
being quite naked, plunged themselves into the water. 
They tumbled first a good while in the water ; then they 
went out, and others followed them, being like men 
quite out of their senses. Parents took their little 
childi-en and cast them into the water, though these 
poor creatm'es cried loud from the coldness of the 
water. The priests having lights stood around the ri- 
^n.llet, to witness this abominable ceremony. I tm-ned 
my eyes from this spectacle, and entered into a discourse 
with the father of Guebra, speaking about the baptism 
with the Holy Ghost, and the blood of Christ to the 
forgiveness of sin. Several priests joined in the dis- 
coiu-se. I then expressed my grief at seeing such cere- 
monies in a Christian country. Many people told me 
that I had said right. I then went home, while the 


priests remained till morning, when they returned to 
Ankobar, singing and shouting. 

January 13 — A priest came from Debra Libanos, 
begging in the name of his priesthood for the ^Ethiopic 
Gospels, as their Church was too poor to buy them. I 
complied ^-ith his request, and gave him also a copy of 
the Amharic New Testament. He went away, retiu-n- 
ing me many thanks. A Guraguean priest then came, 
begging for the names of the Amharic alphabet, so that 
he might teach it in his coimtry. Afterward, a Debtera 
brought to me a book, called Tarik. It contains a 
table of genealogy to King Solomon ; and then 
speaks about the Kings of ^Ethiopia, about the origin 
of the Gallas, and some facts respecting Mahomed 
Gragne, King of Adel. I begged him to make me a copy 
of this book, which he did. Aftein\'ard, Tseddoo brought 
to me a book, called Genset. He said that it was 
composed by Athanasius. Tseddoo said, that this 
great father of the Church had maintained, that the 
dead went to the holy suj)per after death. I said, that 
this was not agreeable to 1 Cor. xi., where St. Paul 
says, that we should show forth Christ's death till he 
come ; nor to ]\Iat. xxvi. 29., which referred to a hea- 
venly communion of Christ mth His disciples as there 
said, that he would have no further bodily commu- 
nion with them, but in the kingdom of heaven. Then 
I reminded him of Gal. i. 12., and Rev. xxii. 19., where 
it is inculcated on every Christian to take nothing from 
Scripture nor add thereto. 


January 15^ 1840 — A Debtera brought to me a book, 
called Wudassie-Amlak, which is so much esteemed 
by the Abyssinians, that they say, if there were no 
priest with a dying man, and this book only were read, 
his assistance would not be reqxiired. Afterward I 
studied the Galla language. My Galla told me about 
two Deities which the Gallas worship. One is called 
Oglia ; the other Atete. They offer sacrifices to the 
Atete, a female Deity, in the month of September ; and 
to the Oglia, a male Deity, in the months of January 
and April. 

January 16 — I called upon Anko Jasus, the Alaca 
of the Church of St. Mary. He appears to be a monk, 
I gave him a copy of the ^thiopic Gospels, and a copy 
of the Amharic New Testament for his Church. Thus 
all the Churches of Ankobar have received books from 

January 17 — Debtera Worknech begged me to 
explain to him Matt. iii. I spoke about the baptism of 
John, and that of the Abyssinians, which I had lately 
witnessed. First, I said, that John taught his people 
before he baptized them, and that he showed them the 
necessity of repentance, if they wished to enter into 
the kingdom of God ; and, secondly, that John directed 
his hearers to the great day, the judgment of Christ ; 
that they should not rely upon their own righteousness 
and useless ceremonies, but really change their minds, 
and be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 





January 22, 1840 — This morning, about nine o'clock, 
the King departed from Angollala on an expedition 
against the Galla Tribes in the south of Shoa, and I 
was ordered to follow him in company with M. Rochet. 
About ten o'clock we passed the river Tshatsha, which 
has its course from south-east to north-west : it most 
probably arises in the mountains of Bulga and Mentshar, 
in the province of Fatagar. On a neighbouring hill 
we observed a large village, called Wonabadera, where 
Ayto Maretsh, the most influential Chieftain of the 
Gallas in the south of Shoa, has his residence. The 
Galla tribe, through the territoiy of which wc first 

188 THE king's army. 

passed, is called Abedtslioo, which is veiy large, and 
di\ided into several districts. It is well peopled and 
cultivated ; but being destitute of trees, it does not pre- 
sent to the eye so beautiful an aspect as the other terri- 
tories of the Gallas, which we saw afterward. It has 
no high mountains, but only hills. It is rich in rivulets, 
meadows, and large valleys. 

The army of the King which accompanied him to- 
day amounted to about 5000 men. The King went 
before, having on each side a man holding a large red 
umbrella, preceded by several Gallas to show him 
the way. Behind the King there were about twenty 
wives riding, to prepare the King's kitchen, and at 
a little distance were the priests, alacas, and other men 
of rank. I was ordered to go \\-ith these. And 
finally there were the soldiers of the King, commanded 
by their respective officers. On the left side of the 
army, were the Tambom-s, riding on mules, making 
their monotonous noise; and, on the right side, 
were several wives, singing hymns in praise of the 

As my European di-ess and physiognomy excited the 
attention of the people, I was always surrounded by 
them, asking me about my country. I left this matter, 
and took the opportunity of speaking to them about 
the way conducting to their eternal welfare. As a Mis- 
sionary has people with him from all parts of Shoa, he 
can do much on such expeditions. Every word he 
speaks, they relate afterward to others, as I frequently 


observed. A priest, who was with Ayto Maretsh, asked 
me a number of questions. I at first considered him 
a bigoted monk, and spoke ^xiih. him in decided terms ; 
but I observed afterward that he was much attached to 
me. He at fii'st tm-ned the conversation to fasting. I 
said, " Fasting may be useful to you, as well as disad- 
vantageous, according to the use you make of it. If 
by fasting you wish to be justified before God, you are 
not in want of the merit of Jesus Christ, and of the 
gi-ace and mercy God has ofiiered us in Him ; you make 
youi- own Sadour, and blaspheme Him who accepts a 
mourning sinner by His grace ; and you declare all that 
Christ has done for us to be superfluous, or at least, 
not sufficient for our redemption. But in doing so, 
you are quite in opposition to the doctrine of Christ 
and His Apostles, who declare that there is no salva- 
tion but in the name of Christ, who justifies the 
sinner by faith, and not by merit which a man thinks 
to have got by fasting or other work. In this 
respect, fasting is an immense disadvantage to you ; 
yea, you commit a great sin if you fast for righteous- 
ness' sake. You have no command in Scripture for 
your doing so ; but you are commanded to put aside 
all youi- o\\Ti works and to seize by a living faith what 
is given to you on the cross of your perfect Saviour Jesus 
Christ.'^ I then explained to him the passage (Matt. 
V. 3.) Blessed are the poor in spirit : for theirs is the 
kingdom of heaven. Furthermore, I said, "Fasting 
respects only the flesh, not the soul. The Mahome- 


dans and heathens can fast as severely as you, without 
partaking of Christ. It is another thing, if we fast 
in order to be able to meditate about the condition of 
our hearts, to mourn over our sins, and to pray. In this 
respect, fasting may become useful to us ; but in doing 
so we know and declare it before God and men, that 
we do not seek righteousness thereby, but only a pre- 
paration for a praying intercourse with our God. Having 
this in view, the Apostles sometimes fasted ; but they 
left it to Christian liberty as to how often and in 
in what cases it should be done, without giving strict 
orders about it." 

Afterward he spoke about the prohibition of coffee 
drinking. The priests of Shoa do not allow it, in oppo- 
sition to the Mahomedans, who like coffee so much. 
First, I proved to him, that God makes coffee grow as 
Avell as other things for the use of men ; and therefore 
he who forbids it, is in opposition to the Creator of 
all things. Secondly, I showed him that all that God 
has created, is clean, good, and not to be refused, if it 
be received with thanksgiving, as St. Paul says, (1 Tim. 
iv. 3, 4.) ; and that it was another thing if some things 
were not suitable to our bodies and health. In this 
respect, we were obliged to abstain from eating or drink- 
ing it, as it is our duty to preserve our life, which we 
should otherwise destroy, as many Abyssinians do by 
severe fasting. Thirdly, I explained to him the differ- 
ence by which we are distinguished from the Mahome- 
dans, namely, not by fasting, or coffee di-inking, or 


di'ess, or bands of silk ; but by oiu* doctrines and a holy 
Christian life. Fourthly, that if the Abyssinians will 
separate themselves from Mahomedans by prohibiting 
coffee, they are obliged to abstain from all other meat 
which the Mahomedans make use of. Fifthly, I re- 
proached their priests, saying, " I know why you are so 
strict in forbidding coffee ; you do it for your interest, 
taking a cloth, or some pieces of salt, before you ab- 
solve a dead man whom you know to have been a coffee 
drinker. I would not have opposed you so much, if I 
had observed that there was no custom in general to 
di'ink coffee ; but knowing the reasons why you forbid 
it, I thought it my duty to speak openly on this point. 
But supposing there were no custom, your country could 
produce plenty of coffee, and it would be for yom- tempo- 
ral welfare to plant and sell it to foreign countries.^^ 

I then spoke about the real conversion of sinners, 
about the happiness of a true believer in Christ, and the 
duty of the Shoa Christians to convert the J\Iahomcdans 
and Gallas, saying, that if they loved Christ, they would 
keep His commandment, by which all true believers are 
obligated to instruct all the nations of the earth. But 
in order to be able to do so, they must first themselves 
retm-n to the pure doctrines of the Gospel, else the 
Gallas would not hear them. " What," I said, " shall the 
Gallas gain by your doctrines about fasting, prohibition 
of coffee and smoking, by your traditions of circumcision, 
and by yom' strict separation from other nations ? In- 
stead of converting them, you give them occasion to 


blaspheme the holy name of Christ, thinking that His 
yoke is a very heavy one, in opposition to what He him- 
self says (Matt. xi. 28.) Come unto me, all ye that la- 
hour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, 8(c." 
In my heart I fervently prayed that the Lord would 
open a door to the Galla nation, and hasten the time of 
their salvation. 

About one o'clock we passed a river, called Belat, 
which has its coiu'se in the same direction as the 
Tshatsha, and perhaps the same source, on the Bulga 
mountains. There is a large village of the same name 
near it, situated on a rocky hill. Oiu* route was plain 
and agreeable. "VVe observed several large ahorn-trees, 
under which the Gallas perform their religious ceremo- 
nies. These trees therefore are considered holy, and 
nobody can touch them without losing his life. Here 
they offer sacrifices to their two principal Deities, Oglia 
and Atete. To the Oglia, which is a male Deity, they 
offer cows, sheep, &c., in the months of January and 
April ; and to the other, which is a female Deity, they 
offer sacrifices in the month of September, at which 
time their priests, called Kallitshotsh, foretell the inci- 
dents of the coming year. They pray that these beings, 
which they think to be invisible, may grant to the peo- 
ple a good harvest and other temporal blessings. 

About two o'clock in the afternoon we encamped on 
a large plain, called Magel, which is intersected by 
a rivulet of the same name. The King gave orders 
to Serta "Wold to furnish me with a tent. 


January 23,1840 — Yeiy early this morning I went 
out to a neighbouring village of Gallas, accompanied by 
M. Rochet and my Galla boy. The Gallas on seeing us, 
ran all together. I saluted them in their own language. 
I then said to them, through my Galla, that I had heard 
in my country that the Gallas were like what the fore- 
fathers of my country had been formerly, not knowing 
the right way to their temporal and eternal welfare ; 
that the Wake (God) had shown us the right way in a 
book which we call the Gospel ; and that His will was, 
that all men should hear, know, and accept this book, 
in order to become happy with Him after this life. As 
to myself, I intended to study well their language, and 
then to come and teach their boys and all who wished 
to know the right way. Several people said, " Well, 
come, and we will give you sheep and what yovi need." 
I replied, " I am not in want of property ; but I wish 
to make you happy by the knowledge of the Word of 
God." I Hke much the Galla people, and 1 am con- 
vinced that if a ]\Iissionaiy once commenced his labours 
among them, he would be blessed with better success 
than among the Abyssinian people. 

The King set out about eight o'clock with his troops, 
which had been considerably increased by soldiers 
coming from Bulga and Alentshar. We marched south- 
west-west in the territorj^ of the Abedtshoo Gallas. 
About eleven o'clock, we passed the river Sana Robi, 
which separates the tribe Abedtshoo from the tribe 
Gelan ; and then marched north-west, passing, about one 


194j governor of machfood. 

o'clock in the afternooiij the river Sanga Boka. About 
two o'clock, we encamped on a place, called Gordoma, 
in the tribe Woberi. As the tribes Woberi and Gelan 
were several years at war with each other, the country 
around was a desert, and we saw nothing but the ruins 
of former villages. ^Tien we had encamped, the 
King asked me how many soldiers I thought he had 
gathered at present ? I said, that I thought there 
were about six or seven thousand. He laughed, and 
said, " That is nothing : look after several days, and 
then tell me the number." We had to the north the 
province of Slioa Meda, where there are Christians. 

In the evening, the Governor of Machfood came to 
see me in my tent. As they came only to see my Euro- 
pean dress, and to ask about trilling things, I turned the 
discourse to the Word of God, to proclaim which I 
was sent by the Christians of my country. They then 
kept silence, in order to hear what 1 had to say about 
the propagation of the Gospel in our times, and of the 
Holy Scriptures in a hundred and seventy different lan- 
guages, and about the arts of our country. I like to 
converse with different people on this expedition, and 
to make known my object in all the districts of Shoa, 
as I obtain thereby a great advantage ; namely, that I 
am known if I should afterward visit their villages. 
I regretted that I had not with me a large quantity of 
Amharic books, as I had many opportunities of dis- 
tributing them. 

January 24, 1840 — As the King set out very late this 


morning, I had a long conversation with people who 
smTOunded my tent, in number about two hundred. 
My heart was warm at seeing them. Several were about 
to speak about fasting ; but I left that, and enlarged on 
the duty of a Christian to acquaint himself well with 
the "Word of God, contained in the Old and New Testa- 
ments, and to follow it with all his heart during his 
life. I then proved to them from the Ten Command- 
ments the sinfulness of theii- hearts, and the necessity 
of a h\-ing faith in Jesus Christ. The people were 
much pleased with what I said, saying, that they had 
never heard such good tidings from their priests. If 
I should accompany the King on another expedition, 
I shall prepare before a number of short sermons, 
explaining to tlie people the essential truths of Scrip- 
ture in a clear and decided manner. These expeditions, 
which the King makes three times in the year, namely, 
January, June, and September, afford a suitable occa- 
sion for a ^Missionary to preach the Gospel, which 
opportunity he does not have at other times. 

We marched through the territory Woberi south- 
west-west. On the south-east we left the mountains of 
Garra Gorphoa, which extend from east to north-west, 
in which direction we saw all the rivulets running, 
which we were continually passing. As since yesterday 
the troops from northern and western Shoa arrived, 
the King sent his boy Bern, to request me to go on a 
hill from whence I could see the troops passing, and 
to tell the King how many I thought there were. 1 
K 2 


rested about an hour, seeing the people arriving from 
all directions ; finally, I went my way, thinking there 
were about iifteen thousand men. Notwithstanding 
this, others will arrive in a few days from Shoa, and 
the country of the Gallas. The most beautiful horses 
and mules were to be seen. How powerful a King 
Sahela Selassieh might become, if his troops were dis- 
ciplined, and his country civilized ! About one o'clock, 
we were covered by an immense swarm of locusts, so 
that we could see neither the sun nor the mountains 
around. I have seen them in Tigre, but not in such 
a mass. Afterward we had rain. The second rainy 
season, which is called Tshernat, is at hand, and is ex- 
pected regularly between January and February. The 
first rainy season, called Hat Kidan, begins in the 
month of June, and ends in September. 

I saw this afternoon, for the first time, a Galla grave 
in a village called Mutshella. The grave was sm*- 
rounded by a wall about three feet in height, on which 
the aloe-plant was growing up very beautifully. The 
grave was also covered with stones of about two feet in 
height. I have never seen in Abyssinia a grave adorned 
so nicely. On asking my Galla boy, why they adorned 
their graves so beautifully, I received an answer which 
destroyed my pleasure. He told me, that the Gallas 
are of opinion, that as soon as the above mentioned 
plant grows on the grave of a person, he begins to get 
righteousness before the Wake, and goes to him. How- 
ever, the Gallas have an idea of retribution, as they 


believe that a good man goes to the Wake, and a bad 
one to the fire of the Setanat, or Geni. As I asked 
Gallas, who have no connexion with the people of 
Shoa, I suppose that this is an idea of theii- own. 

January 25, 1840 — We commenced our march this 
morning about nine o'clock, proceeding south-south- 
west, through the territory of the tribe Jumbitshoo, 
which was quite destitute of villages. We passed several 
rivTilets. The King rested several times to catch fishes. 
About two o'clock, we encamped in a plain called 
Sululta, having been about eight hours in its circuit. 
The Gallas on the neighbouring mountains are called 
Sululta Gallas. Their neighbours in the south-east 
are called Finfini Gallas, from the high mountains of 
the same denomination. The plain of Sululta is ex- 
ceedingly rich in grass and water ; but there is no 
wood. I observed here, as in other places, that the 
Gallas leave the plains to their horses, sheep, cows, 
&c., which they love like their children ; while they 
themselves seek their maintenance by cultivating the 
mountains. In doing so they are able to bring up a 
better cavalry than perhaps any other nation. As the 
Gallas of Sululta did not pay their tribute in horses 
and cows, the King gave orders for all their villages 
to be destroyed by fire. I did not care much to know 
the names of the Galla villages, as they are destroyed 
almost on every expedition. The soldiers take all 
they can get in the houses, and then burn them. As 
the harvest was over, the King could not, as he gene- 


rally does, burn the fruits ; but much wheat was de- 
stroyed with the houses. The Gallas are foohshj I 
have no doubt, because they could prevent the King 
from burning their houses, as the tribute which he 
requires from them is very little, 

January 26,1840— This morning, about eight o'clock, 
we left Sululta. On our departure the King bm-nt all 
the meadows on which we had encamped. About nine 
o'clock we entered into the territory of Mulofalada, 
governed by the queen Tshamieh, whom I have men- 
tioned before. She has her residence at Wollenso, a 
large village, which is considered the capital place of 
her tribe. Having passed through several territories 
of the Gallas quite destitute of trees, and but little 
cultivated, it was very refreshing to my eyes to see 
large forests and the ground cultivated. The King of 
Shoa married the daughter of the queen ; and her son, 
whose name is Tshara, is much attached to the King, 
and rendered him great services on the expedition. 
Considering that this tribe is in the midst of Gallas 
dwelling between the Hawash in the south, and 
Shoa in the north and east — that it is near the Nile, and 
Godtsham on the west— that it is very fertile, and 
well cultivated— and that it is in total dependance upon 
the King of Shoa, I could not but think that it was a 
fit place to establish a Galla Mission among this tribe. 
I therefore determined to make my personal acquaint- 
ance with the son of the Queen, and to acquaint 
him with my object. On our way, the King received 


several Chieftains, who delivered up their tributes. 
Generally speaking, what the Gallas call dependancy 
upon Shoa is very little with the southern Gallas, as 
they are afraid of the King only so long as he is in 
their territory. The tribe of Mulofalada, however, 
seems to me to be an exception. 

I must make some remarks respecting the behaviour 
of the King when he is marching. He is as active in 
the field as at home. Sitting on his mule, he speaks 
with his officers and other persons, and receives the 
Governors arriving from Shoa or the Galla tribes, who, 
on seeing the King, fall down on their faces, as well as 
their troops. He asks in a friendly way. How do you 
do ? after which the chieftain comes near, walks by 
the side of the King's mule, and speaks with him 
apart for about half an hour. The King having rode 
on his mule for a considerable time, descends and walks 
on foot like his people. He speaks the Galla language 
pretty well. When he intends to encamp, he goes 
apart on a hill with a select number of troops to 
reconnoitre, till his tents are put up. Indeed, he is a 
respectable prince, and has intelligence and experience. 

In the afternoon, we passed several rivulets in the 
territoiy of Mulofalada. One of them is called 
Koieta, and another Dekame : both seem to have their 
course to the Nile. All the rivulets which we passed, 
have water the whole year, I was informed. At two 
o'clock, we arrived in the ten-itory of the tribe Ada- 
berga, which is partially dependent on Mulofalada. 


Adaberga has its name from the high mountains 
situated in this tribe^ as many other tribes are called 
by the name of their mountains. I several times ob- 
served, that the extension of a tribe is limited by a 
chain of mountains ; as you enter into another tribe 
as soon as you ascend another chain of mountains. 
The Adaberga mountains have their direction from 
south-south-east to north -east. The territory of this 
tribe is very rich in forests, water, and meadows. As 
they refused to pay the tribute, their houses were 
burnt. About three o'clock we encamped in a valley, 
called Belatsha, from the rivulet" of the same name. 

January 27, 1840 — This morning I had a long con- 
versation with people from the North of Shoa, from 
Geshe, Anzokia, and Efrata. I read to them several 
Psalms with short explanations. They were much pleased 
to hear the Word of God in Amharic. I am firmly 
convinced that the Abyssinian people would not refuse 
a reformation, if there were some enlightened teachers 
among themselves, brought up with a sovmd know- 
ledge of the Bible, and anointed by the Holy Spirit. 
But I have little hope in this respect, though they like 
to hear a discourse about the Word of God. In all my 
conversations I endeavour to show them the necessity 
of relying only on the Bible, it being quite suffi- 
cient to the knowledge of our salvation. I show them 
always that there are two seducing ways ; either that 
we add something to the Scriptures, or that we take 
away from them ; explaining the danger of these ways. 


with the example of Adam and Eve and other instances, 
as well as from the history of the Chm-cli. 

We commenced our march about nine o'clock this 
morning. Having passed through a large forest, 
north-west, we descended into a large plain, called Ada- 
berga Tshamer, in which the Gallas themselves had 
bm-nt all the grass to prevent the King from encamp- 
ing there. A Galla was caught in the forest : three 
others were killed this day by the people of Tshara. 
All the villages around were destroyed by fire. My 
boy brought to me a lance of iron, which the Gallas of 
this country used to wear. About three o'clock, we en- 
camped near a river called Robi, having its course to 
the Nile. We were in the territory of the Metta 
Gallas. Metta is divided into several districts. From 
the river Robi, the Gallas around are called jNIetta Robi 
Gallas. They did not deliver up their tribute, and had 
taken flight to their moimtains. The territory of ]\Ietta 
is exceedingly beautiful, like Mulofalada and Adabcrga. 
Generally speaking, the farther we go to the south, the 
country becomes more beautiful. It is an immense loss 
that this fine country is in the hands of these people. 
They have every thing in abundance, and their climate 
is like that of Italy. It is so healthy that sickness is 

January 28 — This morning I had a conversation 
with the Gallas. As on this expedition I wished par- 
ticularly to converse with the people, I took my Galla 
translation of the Gospel of St. John, in order to see 
K 5 


whether tliey were able to understand it or not ; and I 
had the pleasure to observe that they understood it 
pretty well. I added some explanations to what I read, 
and they expressed to me their great satisfaction. I am 
convinced that the Gallas are not against instruction ; 
but they hate the Amharic priests, who will instruct 
them in an unknown language, and in things which they 
consider a heavy yoke. We always observed that the 
Gallas made a great distinction between me and M. 
Rochet and the Amharic people. 

The King encamped about one o^clock in a plain 
called Darasoo, on the river Gadisa; afterward he 
went out with a select number of soldiers in a north - 
westei'ly direction, to attack the tribe Wogidi INIetta. 
I accompanied him, though he begged me several times 
to remain in the camp. We marched about two hours, 
till we arrived at a high mountain, on which, when the 
air is clear, Godtsham and the Nile can be seen. We 
saw the mountains of Mughir to the north, on the 
foot of which is the tribe Fajah, where the King went 
on his last expedition, in the month of September. 
Between the mountains of the \Yogidi Gallas and those 
of the ]Metta Robi Gallas is a river, called Ada, flomng 
to the Hawash. In the west of Wogidi Metta is the 
tribe Betsho Fugik, and in the west of Betsho Fugik 
is the tribe Tsharso Daga on the Nile. As the Gallas 
had taken flight, the King returned to his camp, hav- 
ing first burnt their \illages. 

January 29, 1840 — This morning, about nine o'clock, 


we left oiu' camp, to retui'u to tlie tribe ^Metta Robi, 
where we had been two days before. I asked several 
Gallas who were with me in my tent, what they knew 
about their progenitor. They said, that, according to an 
old tradition, their progenitor was called "VVolab ; that 
he was formed from mud by the Wake (god), and re- 
ceived afterward a living soul ; and that he had his 
first residence on the Hawash. I could not learn more 
from them. On oiu- rctiu-n, the Gallas, the houses of 
whom were bm-nt yesterday, brought their tribute in 
honey, horses, and cows. 

We encamped about one o'clock. I had a long con- 
versation -^ith people from jNlachfood, Geshe, Morad, 
Bulga, and ]\Ientshar. I observed that the people of 
Bulga and Mentshar are the most ignorant. 

January 30 — As the King rested in his tent till 
ten o'clock, I had much time to speak ^\dth the people. 
I first spoke about the power of the priests. I proved 
to them that a priest is a sinner before God, like other 
men ; and that a good priest does not deny his sinful- 
ness and his want of a Saviour, as we see in the exam- 
ple of St. Paul, who declared himself to be the greatest 
sinner — that therefore a priest has no power of his 
own over other men — that as he receives the salvation 
of his soul only by true repentance and living faith in 
Christ, it is his duty to show to his people the way in 
which he has been saved, in conformity with the exam- 
ple of John the Baptist, and with God's commandment. 
" Therefore," I remarked, " take care that you do not 


presume on authority which the Lord has not given you 
—that you preach His word and not youi- own — seek 
for His honour and glory, and not yom- own interest. 
You have certainly great honour and power by teaching 
His word ; but if you take from or add to that word, 
as now you do, the Lord will call you thieves and rob- 
bers destrojang his sheep. The iVpostles had the Holy 
Spirit, who conducted them into all truth, and preserved 
them from teaching other things which Christ had not 
commanded. In His power they bound the sinner who 
did not repent, as well as absolved him who truly re- 
pented of his sins : but you have the spirit of the world, 
and seek only for worldly interests, and take the power 
and the word of Christ only as the means of obtaining 
your temporal objects. You keep the flock in ignorance, 
teaching them doctrines quite contrary to the Scrip- 
tures ; and you prevent them by your pretended autho- 
rity from receiving the happy and pure knowledge of 
the Bible. But I tell you that the liord wall require 
from you, on the Day of Judgment, all the souls which 
are lost on youi- account. The souls are not yours, but 
Christ's ; and if you do not reveal to them His will, 
you are like Judas, who looked more for money than 
for his master's interest." 

We then spoke about slavery. As slavery is very 
frequent in this country, I take every opportvmity to 
prove its inconsistency with Christian principles, namely. 
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. And as ye 
would that men should do to you, do ye also to them 


likewise, " A^Tiy do you/' I said, " sell yoiu- neighbour 
like a mule, or horse, or other property ? Would you 
like a man to deal so with you ? Furthermore, you know 
from Scriptm-e, that all men are brothers, members of 
one family, coming of one blood, Adam, and redeemed 
by one blood, Jesus Christ. It is also said, Thou shalt 
not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet 
thy neighbours zvife, nor his man servant, nor his maid 
servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is 
thy neighbour's. How earnestly the Almighty forbids 
us in this commandment to take the property of our 
neighbour. A\Tiy do you steal men, or at least buy 
and sell stolen men ? You say that you do not steal 
men. Well, but you buy and give occasion for others 
to steal them. What is the reason of so many wars 
among the Gallas ? Is it not to make and sell slaves ? 
You, the Christians of Shoa, are responsible for this. 
You do not eat with Gallas and Mahomedans ; but you 
do their sinful works. Separate yourselves from their 
sins, and prove that you are disciples of Him who has 
given himself for their redemption. You forbid coffee 
and tobacco, which the Word of God does not ; but you 
favour a trade with men to your eternal condemnation." 
Our conversation then turned to the difference be- 
tween Christians and Mahomedans. I said, " The dif- 
ference does not consist in strings of silk, or in not 
eating with ^lahomedans ; but in doctrines, and in a 
holy Christian life. Like the ]\Iahomedans, you seek 
your righteousness before God by fasting and other 


works ; like them you are slave-traders ; and yovi love 
fornication. Wlierein^ therefore, do you differ ? Is it 
because you have a greater number of Saints than the 
Mahomedans ? Or is it that you have better stories 
and fables than are found among the Mahomedans ? 
You have, it is true, some theoretical knowledge of 
Christ j but practically, you are like the Mahomedans, 
who not feeling the sinfulness of their hearts, nor know- 
ing the sickness of their souls, are offended at the Sa- 
viour's incarnation. And you are offended at our say- 
ing to you, that fasting and other works are useless to 
a true believer, who needs nothing else but a contrite 
heart and a living faith. You are zealous against Ma- 
homedans, denying that Christ is the Sou of God, and 
do not give Him the honour which belongs to Him as 
a Saviour and Mediator, but divide Him between His 
work and youi' own and that of your Saints.'' 

Finally, we spoke about the various arts of Europe. 
I said, in conformity with 1 Tim. iv. 8, Godliness is 
profitable unto all tilings, having promise of the life 
that noiv is, and of that ivhich is to come — that the 
pure knowledge of the Gospel enlightens the under- 
standing of man, and who, if he does the wdll of God, is 
blessed in all that he undertakes — that the reception 
of the Gospel is the real cause of the flom-ishing state 
of the arts in our country — and that the love which 
oui' Christians prove in propagating God's Word is the 
cause of the power which England possesses in all parts 
of the world. 


We set out about ten o'clock this morning. Alaca 
Melat asked nie on the way many questions of a spe- 
culative natui-e. Among other things, he asked me 
about the anointing of Christ by the Holy Ghost. I 
said, this we can prove clearly from Matt, iii., where we 
read, that when Jesus was baptized, he went up straight- 
way out oftheivater: and, lo, the heavens were opened 
unto him, and the Spirit of God descending like a 
dove, and lighting upon Mm, from which we also learn 
at what time Christ received the Holy Ghost. " "SATiy 
ask,'' I said, " about things which are not wi-itten, and 
do not see those which are so clearly revealed in the 
Scriptm-es ? Why take upon yourselves to oppose the 
testimony of St. John, who had seen and heard at what 
time Christ was anointed with the Holy Ghost ? " I 
once heard fi'om a learned priest why they persist so 
strictly in their opinion of Christ's being anointed in 
the womb ; but I have forgotten to notice it in my 
daily remarks. It is necessary to study their iEthiopic 
books in order to find out their o])inions, of which 
they have seldom a clear knowledge. 

He then asked about Cyril and Nestorius. I said, 
that the doctrines of these two gi'cat men of the 
Church requii-ed to be examined by the light of the 
Scripture — that Nestorius seems to have separated the 
humanity of Christ from his Deity, and Cyril to have 
confounded both together; while the Scripture faith 
relics on a real union of both without separation, as 
well as without mLxture — that as to the manner of 


their union, we are not informed in Scripture ; we 
know only that the Word zvas made Jlesli, mid dwelt 
among us, manifesting the actions of real humanity 
as well as of Deity. It would be better, I said, if they 
left their disputes about the anointing and the two 
natures of Christ, and examined themselves in the 
light of God, to know whether they were anointed 
with the Holy Ghost and united to Christ or not. " I 
am much displeased,^' I added, " with your learned 
men, seeing that they are lost in vain speculations, 
and seduced from the practical knowledge of Christ. 
Humble yourselves under the Word of God, that He 
may exalt you, by giving you the spirit of true wisdom, 
and leading you to the salvation of yourselves as well 
as of your flocks." 

Finally, he asked, whether mules were created in the 
beginning, as it was written in a book called Adam, 
that Adam, on leaving the garden, had ten mules with 
him. I said, that I had never i-ead this story in the 
Bible ; but had read in Gen. xxxvi. 24., that at the 
time of Anah, mules were found in the wilderness ; 
and therefore that the story in the book of xldam was 
false, as were many others of their books, the authors 
of whom seek to be wiser than the messengers of God, 
who have wi'itten their histories in the light of the 
Holy Ghost. This afternoon we were again covered 
with an immense swarm of locusts. 

January 31, 184!0 — This morning I had the pleasure 
to meet with Tshara, son of Tshamieh, Queen of Mulo- 


falada. He came to see me in my tent. I explained 
to him the reasons why I had come to Shoa and the 
country of the Gallas, saying, that in om- countries we 
had become very happy since our fathers had, more 
than a thousand years ago, received the knowledge of 
the books which I had in my hands —a copy of the 
Amharic New Testament and the Psalms — and that as 
we loved all men on earth as our brothers, we wished 
to make them also happy by the knowledge of this book. 
Besides, God had commanded us to instruct all people 
in this book, as without the knowledge of God and their 
duties toward Him, they would be lost for ever ; and 
therefore I had come from a distant country, surmount- 
ing many difficulties, fatigues, and dangers, in order to 
show them the way to their eternal welfare. Tshara 
took my books, kissed them, and gave them to his ser- 
vants, who also kissed them. He then said, " We will 
know about the things contained in this book." I 
replied, that I would have given it to him, if he had 
been able to read it ; but if he and his mother would 
allow me, I would come and instruct his people in their 
own language, and tell them all that is ^Titten in the 
book. I added, that I had nothing to request from 
him but his permission to come, and for the protection 
of my person and furtherance of my object in this coun- 
ti-y. He promised to accomplish all that I had re- 
quested from him ; but, he added, " If the King, my 
uncle, will allow it." This young man's countenance 
and manners were pleasing. We felt much attached 


to each otlier. He said silently to my servant, " This 
is a man of the Wake (God.)" Finally, I asked him 
for several boys to take with me to Ankobar, in order 
to instruct them there, promising that I would return 
with them to IMulofalada. He answered, " I shall come 
to Ankobar after several months, and then we will 
speak about this matter, and you will speak with the 
King/^ I shall not fail to acquaint the King of it, as 
soon as possible. I have spoken much with Alaca 
Serat about the Galla people, and given him some proofs 
of my translation, and he seems not to be against the 
instruction of that nation j but I am afraid that others 
will prevent the King from giving his permission to my 
undertaking, as they know that the Christian faith is 
not brought by us to the Gallas in the Abyssinian 
manner. However, I shall explain to the King, first, 
that it is the commandment of Christ to teach all peo- 
ple the Christian Religion ; secondly, the responsibility 
of the Christians of Shoa, if they do not care them- 
selves for the eternal welfare of the Gallas ; thu-dly, the 
great advantage arising to the King himself from the 
christianization of the Gallas, who would then be good 
subjects to him, considering him a King united to them 
by the bond of the same faith ; and, fourthly, I shall 
beg him for his permission in the furtherance of my 
object, and for the protection of my person. At the 
same time, I shall speak about my plan respecting a 
Mission among the tribe IMulofalada. 

We commenced our march this morning about nine 


o'clock. The King had ordered a soldier to be killed^ 
who had killed his fellow-man the day before. They 
often kill their own people, in order to be able to say 
that they have killed a Galla ; in which case they re- 
ceive fi'om the King the value of twenty or sixty pieces 
of salt, or a shield, horse, mule, or something else. On 
our way a singer of the King asked me about various 
disputed matters among the learned of Shoa. The 
King on every expedition takes with him twelve singers, 
who begin theii- songs at midnight, and continue vdih- 
out ceasing till break of day. At Ankobar there are 
one hundi'ed and fifty-six singers. These people sing 
psalms and hymns, generally to the praise of IMary ; 
but in such a horrible manner that M. Rochet, who had 
his tent near the King's, was unable to sleep. 

February 1, 1840 — AVe set out from our camp about 
seven o'clock this morning ; but about ten o'clock the 
King gave orders to encamp. Having aiTanged this, the 
King went out to hunt buffalos and elephants, which 
are seldom to be met with in the forests of Metta. M. 
Rochet and myself accompanied the King. About 
eleven o'clock we rested a little on a mountain, where 
we had a most beautiful prospect in all directions. In 
the south-west, wc saw the majestic mountains in the 
territoiy of Maitsha, with their immense forests; and 
on the south-west we had before us the high mountain 
Entoto, where several of the Kings of Abyssinia had 
resided, till Gragne, the King of Adel, destroyed the 
city built there, the ruins of which, I was informed. 


still existed on the mountain. Nebla Dengliel is said 
to have been the last King who resided there. He took 
flight to the neighbouring mountain Ferrer, and then 
to the mountain Bokan, till he was compelled to retire 
to Tigre ; when the Gallas profiting by this opportunity- 
entered this part of Shoa after the death of Gragne. 
Thus Gurague was separated from Shoa. They took 
the most beautiful provinces. The priests of the King 
showed me in the territory of Mulofalada several hills, 
where, they said, chm-ches had formerly been. The 
history of these churches, I understood, are written in 
a book, called Tarik, which Sentshar said he possessed, 
and promised to let me see it after his return to Ankobar. 
We also saw in the south-east the high mountain Se- 
kuala, where, I was informed, is the grave of a cele- 
brated saint, called Guebra Manfus Redus, to which 
the people of Shoa make annual pilgrimages. This 
saint is said to have destroyed by his prayers 500 genii. 
There is water on the top of the mountain. To the 
south we observed the immense plain of the H awash, 
in which is a high single mountain, called Wata Dalat- 
sha. Beyond the plain are the mountains of Soddo 

About one o'clock the people made a loud cry, the 
King having killed a great buffalo on his horse with a 
single lance. Therefore the singing wives praised the 
King. Killing a buffalo is an act of great bravery, and 
a man who has killed one, is considered as if he had 
killed five Gallas : therefore he has the privilege to 


adorn his hair with a branch from the juniper tree. 
About three o'clock we returned to our camp, which 
was on the riAiilet Tshamtsham. 

February 2, 1840— This morning, accompanied by 
M. Rochet, I went to the tent of the King, to make in- 
quiry about the sources of the Hawash. The King told 
us that there was a large marsh between the Soddo, 
Betsho Woreb, and INlaitsha tribes, from which, as far 
as he knew, the Hawash took its rise. As the King 
intends to march against the Soddo and Maitsha tribes, 
we shall be enabled to ascertain the correctness of this 
information. About ten o'clock we passed a river, the 
name of which I could not learn : it forms the frontier 
between the jNIetta and Maitsha Gallas ; and over which 
the Gallas have thro^^ni a small bridge, nicely con- 
structed. The country between Metta and ]Maitsha is 
neither inhabited nor cultivated in the circuit of more 
than twelve hom-s, though it is the finest country of the 
world, being rich in water, wood, and a good soil ; 
these tribes being at war with each other. Thus the 
enmity of man desolates a country which God has 
richly blessed. At present it is the dwelling-place of 
elephants, buffalos, and other beasts. The country of 
Maitsha is chvided into twelve tribes, who are in con- 
tinual hostilities with each other. The names of them 
are : 1. Kuttai, into which we entered to-day; 2. Nono; 
3. Sankalla; 4. WoUiso ; 5. Guma; 6. Gera ; 7. 
Gooderoo. About the rest I have no information. On 
the south of Kuttai, in the i)laiu of the Hawash, is the 


tribe Betsho Woreb, whicb is to be distinguished from 
Betsho Fugik, near the Nile. 

About ten o'clock the tents were made up, when the 
King made an excursion to a mountain, on which we 
could overlook the whole plain of the Hawash to its end, 
where probably is the marsh which the King men- 
tioned to-day. Its distance from the Nile may be a 
day's journey. If these countries were civilized, 1 think 
the Hawash would become of gi'eat importance to com- 
merce, as it has an extent of nearly 200 hom's from its 
soui'ce to Aussa in the country of Adel, where it forms 
a sea, and is navigable, at least in the rainy season, 
from its som'ce to Aussa. I have never heard that there 
were cataracts in this river. In the west of the Hawash 
is the Nile, which is navigable for a long distance. The 
King, having bui'nt all the ^illages around, returned to 
his camp at Logagontsha, on a ri^^Ilet of the same 

February 3, 18 40 — We left our camp about eight 
o'clock this morning to retm'u to Angollala. We did not 
wish to retm-n so soon, as we were desirous of seeing 
the interior of Maitsha, Soddo, and Gurague. On our 
retm'n, we took a south-east direction. About ten 
o'clock, we passed the river between Metta and Maitsha, 
and on which we had encamped last night. I learned 
that it is called Logagontsha. About twelve o'clock, 
we entered into the territory of Metta Tshamer, or Metta 
Wotsheta, from the mountain Entoto, which the Gallas 
call Wotsheta. About two o'clock, we encamped at the 


foot of Entoto, in a plain called Tshaffe holata, where 
the King ordered a great number of tillages to be 
bui-nt. At night we observed the fire by which the 
people of Ababerga destroyed, on a neighbouring moun- 
tain, all the villages which had broiight theii- tributes 
to the King. Thus they act against all Gallas mak- 
ing fi'iendship with the King of Shoa. 

Fehruar^j 4 — The question of a man, whether the 
Gallas are our brothers or not, gave occasion for a con- 
A'ersation till we set out about nine o^clock. We 
marched south-east as yesterday. About ten o'clock 
the people of Tshamich left us to return to their coun- 
trv. Seeing Tshara returning, I prayed fervently in 
my heart, that the Lord would not let him forget what 
I had said to him about my object. About twelve 
o'clock, we touched on our route the territory of Adda ; 
and about three o'clock we encamped at Legemie, in 
the ten-itory of Finfini, in the neighbourhood of the 
mountain Sekuala, on the west of which is another 
high mountain, called Fourri. In the east of our 
camp we had the mountain Ferrer. The Sekuala, En- 
toto, and Wata Dalatsha, form a nice western triangle 
of mountains ; while the Fourri, Sckiiala, and Ferrer, 
form an eastern triangle in the plain of the H awash. 
From our camp we could see very well the mountains 
of Soddo and Gurague, as well as the mountains of the 
Liban, Lumic, and Arroosi tribes in the east of Gu- 

February 5 — About ten o'clock, we saw on our 


route^ which was north-east, the hot wells in the terri- 
tory of Finfinij at the foot of a chain of mountains of 
the same name. I saw three wells which were very 
sulphurous, and so hot that I could not put my fingers 
in it for a moment. There are several villages in the 
neighbourhood. The ground is very sterile, and does 
not present to the eye the same beautiful aspect as the 
territories of Mulofalada, Adaberga, Metta, and Mait- 
sha. However, it is well inhabited and cultivated, and 
the people have been attached to the King for many 
years. About eleven o'clock, we entered into the 
territory of the tribe Germama, On the way the King 
received the tribute from the Galla of Ferrer, consist- 
ing of about twenty beautiful horses and forty cows. 
At the foot of Ferrer is a village called Roggie, where 
there is a large market, at which the people of 
Gurague and the neighbouring Gallas sell their slaves, 
horses, cows, and other productions, coming from the 
interior of Africa. This market is on the route to 
Gurague, which is quite safe as far as the mountain of 
Sekuala and the plain of the Hawash. On arriving 
at this plain, the traveller is in danger of being pil- 
laged by the Soddo Gallas coming from the west. From 
Sekuala it is a day's journey to Aimellele, the first vil- 
lage of Gurague, situated on a mountain, which I have 
seen to-day. The Governor of the Ferrer Gallas is much 
attached to the King. His name is Shambo. His 
duty is to conduct the merchants to Gurague. I en- 
deavoured to make my acquaintance with him ; but as 


he returned directly to liis countryj I had only a few 
moments to speak with him. There are several other 
slave markets in the neighbourhood of the Hawash, 
which give much occasion for the perpetual wars in 
which the Galla tribes are engaged with each other, 
in order to make slaves and to sell them at their mar- 
kets, where they are bought for three or live dollars. 

February Q, 1840 — This morning I gave my Amharic 
New Testament to Tecla IMichael, a secretaiy of the 
King. He read Matt. iii. in the presence of a ^laho- 
medan Hadji, Ab Errachman, the Interpreter of ]\I. 
Rochet. On reading verse 4, And his meat teas locusts 
and wild honey, he asked whether John had indeed 
eaten locusts. I said, " Yes, locusts such as we saw 
several days ago." He replied, "We interpret the word 
anbata, (locusts) to mean a plant which is found after 
the rainy season.'^ I said, " ^^liy do you change the 
Word of God to favour your fixed interpretations ? " 
The Mahomedan was very glad at hearing my opposi- 
tion. I then said, "I know that you arc afraid of 
making John a Mahomedan ; but you are wrong. 
You sin in two respects ; fii-st, you change God's Word 
on account of your interpretations, and thus give oc- 
casion for ]\lahomedans to say, that Christians change 
and falsify the Scriptures ; and, secondly, you declare 
God's creation to be unclean, which is not according to 
1 Tim. iv. 8. We have better and stronger ])roofs 
against Mahomedans, and need not change the word 
locusts. What if John did eat locusts like IMahomc- 


dans ? He lias given witness to Christ, whose messen- 
ger he proved himself; which you cannot say about 
Mahomed." He could not object to anything that I 

On our way to-day, I spoke much with Alaca Serat, 
Alaca Mclat, and Tecla jMichael about slavery, remark- 
ing, that the abolition of it had a great influence on 
the fall of the Mahomedan religion. Then Alaca 
Melat asked me whether circumcision was customary 
in my country. I said that Christ had instituted bap- 
tism instead of circumcision ; and that if circumcision 
were necessary, Christ would have commanded it. He 
then asked, whether our children just born went to 
the Lord^s table. I said, " No, because St. Paul says, 
1 Cor. xi. 28, Lei a man examine himself, and so 
let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup ; 
but how can childi'cn just born examine themselves ?" 
He then replied, " You are right in this respect." He 
also asked, whether the tree in paradise had been a 
sycamore. I said, " I do not know; nor how long Adam 
was in the garden. I only know that he was there ; 
that he transgressed God's commandment, by desir- 
ing more knowledge than God had allowed him ; and 
that he was driven out of the garden." He next asked 
about the Apocryphal books. I said, that as they 
were not written in the Hebrew language, and several 
things occm'ring in them inconsistent with other 
canonical books, we did not consider them as being of 
equal authority with the other books. Afterward, Alaca 


Serat and Alaca ]Melat asked me, whether Christians, 
or Mahomedans, or Pagans, were prevailing in number. 
I said, that we reckoned there were about six hundred 
millions of Heathens, two hundred and ten millions of 
Christians, one hundred and seventy millions of Maho- 
medans, and twenty millions of Jews. They were 
astonished at the number of heathens ; and therefore 
I took the opportunity of speaking about Missionary 
and Bible Societies in my country. About nine o'clock, 
we entered into the territory of the Abedtshoo ; first 
into the district Parra Berck, and then into the district 

February 7, 1840 — We left our camp about seven 
o'clock this morning. We passed several rivulets flow- 
ing north-west. A priest, with whom I had conversed 
some days ago, said to me this morning, that he was 
condnced that all their books were useless without the 
Bible. I replied, " That is not my meaning, but that 
you should examine them to see whether they accord 
with the Scripture, that being alone the rule of Chris- 
tian faith and practice." Alaca ]\Ielat asked mc, who 
was the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews ? I said, 
that most of our learned men are of opinion, that St. 
Paul wrote it, proving it from Hebrews xiii. 23. But, 
he remarked, why did not St. Paul give us his name ? 
I said, " We do not know this exactly ; but it seems that 
St. Paul, who wrote to the Christians gathered from 
among the Jews, who were much offended with the 
Christian doctrine, intentionally concealed his name, 

L o 


which, had it been placed at the beginning of his letter 
would have prevented the reception of the doctrine 
into the hearts of the readers. Besides, the Apos- 
tle Paul did not consider himself as a messenger 
to the Jews, and therefore might have thought it better 
to omit his name. He intended only to prove to 
the Hebrew Christians the superiority of the Christian 
faith, inasmuch as Christ had infinitely greater glory 
than Moses, and as all the types of the Old Testament 
were fulfilled in Him ; and therefore you should 
continue in that faith, not being moved either by the 
teachers of the Jews, or by the fire of persecution. 
As St. Paul had to deal with Jews, he proved his 
doctrine from the Old Testament, in order to destroy 
radically their attachment to Judaism ; and there- 
fore the dress in which he put his letter should not 
deter us from attributing to him the authorship of the 
Epistle.^' Alaca Melat was exceedingly pleased with 
what I said, saying, that it was just their opinion. I 
said, that I did not know this ; but wished that I 
could agree with them in all other points of Scrip- 
ture. Alaca Melat is much attached to me, and said 
before others that was I their father, like Muallem, an 
Armenian, who died two years ago, and was like an 
Abuna of Shoa : so much did the King like him, that 
he built him a large house. Muallem ordained several 
deacons by imposition of hands. It would not be 
difficult for me to acquire the authority which Muallem 
had ; but as in adhering to the pure Scripture truth, 


I must oppose the Abyssinians, I cannot therefore 
expect to obtain such influence. 

Fehruary 8, 1840 — This is the last day of our expe- 
dition. We set out after six o'clock, A Debtera asked 
me on our way, whether death came into the world on 
account of Adam's sin or our own, and why the Saints 
died ? I said, that God is a God of order, and has made 
all things with a wise and holy order — that He intro- 
duced death on account of Adam's sin, as we read Gen. 
iii. — that as we inherit the sin of Adam, we must die 
hke him, because death is the wages of sin ; but that if 
the life of Christ is in us by a real faith in Him, it is 
the order of His love, that our death should become an 
entrance to our rest and eternal joy with Christ. With 
regard to the Saints, I said, that they had all died, with 
the exception of Enoch and Elias, who were taken 
away as types of Christ's ascension, and as evidences 
of man's immortality; that as the Saints descended 
from one sinful father, Adam, and were not free 
from personal sins till the end of their lives, they were 
not exempted from the order of God's justice ; and that 
as the sun daily rises on good as well as bad men, accord- 
ing to the first order and institution of God, so death 
comes upon all j but its consequences are determined 
by belief or unbelief in Christ. 

On our way to-day, I conversed with several Gallas, 
and endeavoured to get some further information re- 
specting their religious ideas ; but they could not tell 
me anything which I did not already know. As to the 


rest, I must oppose those who are of opinion that the 
Gallas have no religious ideas whatever. Certain it is, 
that they have an idea of an invisible Being, which they 
call Wake— that man exists after death, receiving the 
wages of his bad or good life — that they pray to the 
Wake, and offer sacrifices to the Deities Oglia and 
Atete — and that they have a kind of priests, called Kal- 
litshotshj and some civil order. It is remarkable that 
they very much esteem the Lord's Day, which they 
call Sanbata Guda (Great Sabbath), on which day they 
do not labour. Very early in the morning they pray 
to the Wake. I am inclined to consider this custom of 
the Gallas, if they have not received it from the sur- 
rounding Christians, as a remnant of the fii'st institu- 
tion of the Sabbath. 

About nine o'clock we passed the river Tshatsha, 
and arrived at Angollala about ten o'clock. The whole 
priesthood received the King at the foot of the hill 
on which his palace is situated. They prayed for him 
and blessed him. As he had killed a buffalo, he was 
adorned with his royal ornaments, which he had put on 
half an hour before he entered Angollala. He had 
the hide of a leopard over his ordinary cloth ; on his 
head he had a plait of silver hanging in little chains 
over his face ; and on his shoulders he had three chains 
of gold, a symbol of the Trinity. If he has not 
killed anything, he is not received by the priesthood. 
Having performed this ceremony, he entered his 
palace ; while the soldiers fired their guns, and made 


a long cry of joy. Thus the expedition ended, by 
which the King has obtained little advantage, as the 
Gallas refused their tribute, taking refuge to their 
mountains. With regard to myself, I have reason to 
praise my God for having preserved my health and 
life, and for giving me some hints for my future IMis- 
siouary labours. 

I conclude wdth some remarks on the advantages 
which I think I have obtained by the expedition. 

1 . Having seen the territories of the southern Gallas 
of Shoa, I am able to form a better judgment of their 
situation, &c. than before. 

2. I have observed some places which I think are 
fit for the undertaking of a Galla Mission. The first 
place where I believe that a Missionary could begin, is 
in the tribe of Mulofalada, under the protection of 
Queen Tshamieh. He would there be in the midst of 
Galla tribes ; and besides, he would be far from the 
influence of Abyssinian priests. And as to his con- 
nexion with his brethren in Shoa, he could avail him- 
self of the connexion of Tshamieh, who always sends 
messengers to Ankobar. A second place for a Galla 
I\Iission is Ferrer, on the route to Guraguc, in the 
neighbourhood of Bulga and Mentshar. There a 
Missionary would enjoy more protection than even 
with Tshamieh. The Governor of Ferrer appears to 
me to be favourable to a Missionary undertaking in 
his tribe, as he has been educated at Ankobar with the 
boys of the King, and his brother, who is Gover- 


nor of a neighbouring tribe^ is a Christian. A third 
place for a Galla Mission is perhaps Mughir, in the 
neighbourhood of Dcbra Libanos and the Nile; but 
as I have not seen the Governor of that tribe, I cannot 
say anything further respecting that place. I have 
only heard that the Governor is much attached to the 
King. The Lord grant that the time for the salvation 
of the Gallas may come, and that this great nation 
may live before Him ! This was my continual prayer 
on this expedition. 

3. On this expedition I have become knowTi to the 
people of Shoa, as well as to the Gallas. I have con- 
versed with people from all the provinces of Shoa ; with 
governors, priests, alacas, secretaries of the King, and 
many other people. 

4. The Gallas, as well as the people of Amhara, 
have seen my relation to the King, who respected me 
on this expedition. I do not lay much stress on this ; 
but it is important in the eyes of the people. I know 
the King's attachment to his religion and priests, and 
that I cannot trust him much ; but I might protit by 
his present kindness toward me to procure fresh ground 
for our Mission among the Gallas, as I do not know 
how the King will behave himself in course of time, 
particularly if the Abuna comes from Cairo, who is 
expected in the month of May. 

5. I have observed in what manner a IMissionary 
may be useful on the expeditions of the King. He 
can preach and distribute books in the forenoon before 


the King sets out, and in the afternoon when he rests. 
On the way, he can converse with many people, without 
being molested by beggars as at home. 

Finally, the expedition occupies but little of the 
Missionary's time, as after fifteen or twenty days he 
returns to his ordinary business at home. 

I beg leave to remark, that I hope the Committee 
will be pleased to take these hints into consideration, 
so that they may lead them to the resolution of increas- 
ing the Shoa Mission by one or two labourers. At the 
same time, I remember what I have before WTitten 
relative to sending a skilful and pious mechanic, who 
would be able to recommend the Mission to the King. 

L 5 



Fehruary 13, 1840 — Several Debteras of the Churches 
of St. INIary and St. George were with me this after- 
noon. The Debteras of St. Mary asserted that Christ, 
after the consummation of all things, will praise His 
Father in His human nature; while the Debteras of 
St. George asserted that Christ will judge in His deity, 
and not praise the Father. "VMiile they were vehemently 
disputing, I was silent, in order to learn their opinions 
and their manner of disputing. They then begged me 
to decide which was right. I said, that the Georgians 
were decidedly wrong as to the nature in which Christ 
shall judge, because from Matt. xxv. 31; John v. 3, 7; 


and Acts xvii. 31, it is clear that He will judge in 
His glorified human nature ; but whether He would 
praise the Father in that nature, we had not sufficient 
proof in Scripture, though 1 Cor. xv. 28. might be 
considered as implying this. I then exhorted them to 
desist from their disputes, and prepare their minds for 
the gi'eat day on which we shall wish to stand blame- 
less before the Son of Man. A Debtera then said, 
that the monk Abba Sawold, in his Scripture lessons 
always compared my Amharic Pentateuch with the 
yEthiopic, and that he was pleased with it. Another 
Debtera spoke about the book called Tethanegest, 
(Judgment of the Kings) saying, that it had fallen from 
heaven at the time of Constantine the Great. Another 
spoke about the King of Shoa, who, two years ago, had 
given strict orders that every man should keep the 
fasts which the Church had appointed ; and that if any 
one should transgress this order, he should be put to 
prison. The King had observed that many people did 
not fast. I spoke about the scriptural way of salva- 
tion ; and oljserved, that if a sick man should add 
another medicine to what was prescribed by the physi- 
cian, he would die beyond doubt. 

February 21 — A priest of Lasta came to see me, to 
whom I spoke very freely on the duties of a Christian 
and a Christian priest. Afterward the King's painter 
came to see my book of pictures. In the evening, I 
wrote a letter to Bombay, and prepared a chest of 
iEthiopic Manuscripts for Ali Arab to take to Aden. 


February 23, 1840 — Alaca Serat called upon me. 
We spoke about geography. I encouraged liim to 
translate into iEthiopic the geographical book written 
by Mr. Isenberg, which he promised to do. 

February 28 — To-day the Abyssinians are preparing 
for the forty days fast, on which account it is called 
Kabala, when they cleanse their kitchen vessels, par- 
ticularly those used in preparing meat. As my female 
servant had to pre]:)are some oil, she said that every 
male person must withdraw, else the oil would become 
useless on account of their shadow. I said, " I re- 
quest that they remain, and see how you prepare the 
oil. I suppose that you wish to take a part of it, and 
therefore in order to do so, you have recourse to super- 
stition." The people were therefore present when she 
prepared the oil, which did not on that account become 
useless. I took the opportunity of exposing then- 
superstitious opinions, particularly their bearing amu- 
lets, for which they sometimes pay two or three 
dollars, while they will not spend one piece of salt for 
a copy of the Bible. 

March 7 — To-day M. Rochet departed, being furnished 
with letters and presents for the King of France. I went 
to Farri to see Mr. Airston, a Scotchman, who had 
arrived in Shoa several days ago, and who was sick. 
He was described to me by Mr. Isenberg as a friend to 
the cause of Missions. 

March 8—10—1 was at Farri with Mr. Airston, 
who complained of suffering great pain in his head. 


After ^I. Rochet had bled him, he felt better, and 
begged me to go quickly to Angollala to inform the 
King of his arrival, and his waiting for orders to be 
admitted to his presence. 

March 12 — To-day I met with the King, who 
anxiously inquired after Mr. Airston, and requested 
me to bring him to Angollala as soon as possible. 

March 14 — To-day, when I was about setting out 
for Farri, I received the painful news that Mr. Airston 
died before day-break, and that he had been buried at 
Aigebber, a Christian village in the neighbourhood of 
Farri. This Gentleman's disease was inflammation of 
the brain, occasioned by the hardships he had under- 
gone in the country of Adel, particularly in the plain 
of the H awash. 

March 18 — I was called by the King to Angollala. 
He asked me what he should do with Mr, Airston's 
effects. I said, that in my country it was usual in such 
a case to send the effects of a deceased person to his 
relations at home ; but as Mr. Airston's country was 
far from Shoa, I would advise him to write a letter to 
his friends or relations, to ask them what he should do 
with his effects. The King however did not follow my 
advice, but took all that belonged to this gentleman. 
Thus the relations of a European dying in this coun- 
try cannot expect to receive any part of his property. 
I consider that the King gave a bad example for the 
future in such a case ; for if I should die, all my 
property would fall into his hands, and my fellow- 


labourer would receive nothing, except what the King 
might give him in the form of a present. 

March 22, 1840 — Debtera Habta Selassieh came to 
see me. He gave me some information respecting Abys- 
sinian literature. Their books, he said, are divided into 
four goobaiotsh, or parts ; the first part consisting of 
the books of the Old Testament ; the second, of the 
New Testament ; the third, the books of the Liks, or 
perfect masters, as the works of Chrysostom, Tetha- 
negest, and, Abooshaker ; and fourthly, the books of 
the monks. But none of their learned men studied 
all these books, most of them only knowing singing 
and some parts of the Old and New Testaments. Such 
books as are considered equal to the Bible (like Sinodis, 
&c.) are called " Auwaled ; " and those which are not, 
'' Wootshi," which means external. 

March 29 — In the morning, I read with Debtera 
Worknech Matt. 17, and then in the book Meelad, 
which I have mentioned before. It is divided into 
five parts ; treating, first, on the Trinity ; secondly, the 
Son ; thirdly, the Holy Ghost ; fourthly, the order of 
the Church and the Holy Supper ; and, fifthly, about 
the resurrection. 

In the afternoon, Debtera Kefloo, who was formerly 
sent by the King to Mr. Isenberg at Adowah, came to 
me, saying, that as he wished to return to Tigre, he 
would attempt to reconcile Oobieh to us, I said, that 
we had no enmity against him ; but that if he thought 
he could dispose him to recall us to Tigre, he might 


make the attempt. He said that Habta Selassie, our 
friend in Tigve, had requested him to speak with me 
on this matter. 

April 1 — The Guragueans who arrived several days 
ago came to see me to-day. I read with them in the 
Gospel, and distributed afterward several copies of the 
New Testament among them. If I could be a bless- 
ing to this people dm*ing their stay at Ankobar, I 
shovild be very glad. I asked a priest, whether their 
Governor had received the book I sent him. He said, 
that he had accepted it with the greatest pleasm-e, and 
had shown it to all his people -, that the rumom' was 
spread over the whole country, that a white man had 
come from beyond the Great Sea, having brought with 
him many Bibles, carried on camels ; and that, after a 
short time, the people of Cambat and Sentshero would 
hear it. In the evening, Tshara, the Governor of the 
Galla tribe Mulofalada, came and brought to me an ox, 
in sign of friendship. I said that I did not look for 
this ; but I longed for teaching his countrymen the 
'\\'ord of God, as I had told him formerly. He said 
that he would receive me, with the King's permission. 
Finally, he promised, that if he should come again to 
Shoa in the month of September next, he would pre- 
sent me with a fine horse. I replied, that I should be 
glad if he would deliver to me some Youths, whom I 
might instmct. 

April 6 — I spoke with the King about my inten- 
tion of teaching the Gallas. He said, "You shall not 


go at present : you shall go fii-st with me to Gurague, 
and distribute books : afterward, you shall go to the 
Gallas." Thus he makes excuses to prevent my going 
to the Gallas. I showed him the First Chapter of St. 
John, which I had translated into the Galla Language, 
and written in Amharic Characters. He was much 
pleased, and said, " You are a strong people." 

My servants to-day took the usual medicine against 
the tape-worm, which they repeat every two or three 
months. They told me that there were five diflferent 
remedies used in their country ; fii-st, Kosso, which is 
the most general medicine ; secondly, the fruit of 
the Enkoko, a kind of wood, like the branch of a 
vine ; thirdly, Katshamo, another kind of wood ; 
fourthly, the fruit of Kaloa; and fifthly, Maeteri, a 
kind of grass. This latter, they said, destroys the 
worm for ever, or at least for a long time ; but it is 
seldom found except in the valleys of Bulga. 

April 11, 1840 — To-day a priest from Bulga came, 
saying, that he wished to know personally the man who 
had sent a copy of the Ts'ew Testament to his church. 
I spoke with him very openly, and I believe that he 
went away impressed with what I had said to him. 
I then called upon Alaca Wolda Hanna, who gave me 
some proofs of their skill in explaining Scripture. 
The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have 
nests : Matt. viii. 20, he explained thus : Foxes are 
kings and governors, who seek only for earthly 
things ; but the birds are the priests and bishops, who 


riv to heaven in their prayers and holy functions. 
Furthermore, J\latt. v. 29 : If thy right eye offend 
thee, S(c. He said, that the eye is the wife ; the hand, 
the servant ; and the right eye, the child. "When I 
told him the way in Avhich we explained this passage, 
he replied, " That is but one sense : we are fond of 
many senses of Scripture." I then showed him the 
fooHsh and bad consequences of so explaining the 
Word of God, and that God would become displeased 
^vith us if we substitute two or more senses, just as 
the King of Shoa would become angry, if his people 
were to give some other meaning to his orders. 

A poor priest brought me his son, whose name is 
Sena Georgis, in order to have him instructed and edu- 
cated. I readily complied with his request. Thus I 
have three regular scholars. Afterward, two other 
priests, one from Bulga, and the other from Debra Li- 
banos, came begging for books. Another also came 
from the neighbourhood of the Karaiu Gallas, in the 
south of Shoa, for the same purpose. I gave to each 
of them a copy of the New Testament, exhorted them to 
teach themselves and their flocks at home, and to reflect 
upon the conversion of their heathenish neighbours. 

April 18— This moi-ning, three men, who were sent 
by Alaca Senos of Tegulet, came begging for ^Ethiopic 
copies of the New Testament. As I had given them 
all away, I sent him the Amharic New Testament and 
Pentateuch. A Debtcra afterward came and spoke 
about the origin of the Gallas. He said, that the 


mother of the Gallas had been a woizoro (lady) of the 
Abyssinian Kings when they resided on the mountain 
EntotOj in the neighbourhood of Gurague — that the 
lady was given in marriage to a slave from the south 
of Gurague, by whom she had seven sons, who were 
educated in their father's language and customs, as 
well as in his business, which was that of a herdsman — • 
that the sons became great robbers, having gathered 
many people with them — that three of these sons were 
called Tulema, Karaiu, and Maitsha ; and hence the 
Tribes of these names— that when they thought they 
were strong enough, they began to fight mth the Abys- 
sinians, and frequently vanquished them, particularly 
on one occasion near the river Gala, in Gurague ; and 
hence they have been called Gallas to the present day. 
When Mahomed Gragne desolated Shoa and Gurague, 
the Gallas entered and took possession of many fine 
places. All this is written in a small treatise, of which 
I have procured a copy. This account of the origin 
of the Gallas I think is very probable. 

April 24, 1840 — To-day begins what is called by the 
Abyssinians Kenona, that is, for three days the people 
neither eat nor drink ; and the Bala Dirgo, or those who 
receive their maintenance from the King, receive only 
dry bread, because these are days of prayer. However, 
I received my portion from the King's table as at other 
times. To-day I took another boy into my house, who 
wished to be instructed. He is from Dima in Godt- 
sham. Thus I have four scholars. 


yipr'il 25 : Good Friday — This is tlie first Good 
Friday for the last four years that I have been able 
to celebrate in silence and without outward trouble, 
having been formerly always travelling on this day. I 
prayed that the power of Christ's death might come 
upon myself, as well as upon this poor country. 

Ajjril 27 — This morning the strong fast of the 
Abyssinians ended. Since the evening of the 24th, 
the people, particularly the priests, have abstained from 
all food. If they are not able to overcome their bodily 
wants, they eat a citron. As to the priests, they arc 
in the chm'ches day and night, singing and praying ; 
so that I am surprised that they are able to endure it 
so long. The Abyssinians strictly keep the fast of the 
primitive Church, which was forty hours. This morn- 
ing the priests of the five chm'ches w^ent to the King, 
who called me to see their ceremonies. After the priest 
of each church had finished their hjTiins in honour of 
the King, each Alaca recited an epigram in praise of 
the King. For instance, Alaca Serat said that the 
Gallas, who were formerly superior to the Abyssinians, 
have at present been weakened as far as Maitsha by the 
heroic virtue of Sahela Selassieh. Wolda Hanna, the 
Alaca of St. George, said, '' The people of the Franks 
are come to praise and adore the King of Shoa." In- 
deed, if they were against me, they could do me much 
harm, as on such occasions they speak what they like, 
and all the people of Ankobar are assembled. Gene- 
rally speaking, I am convinced that in case a strong 


opposition should arise against our Mission, the priests 
would have more power than they had in Tigre, because 
the King is influenced more by them than Oobieh. I 
therefore endeavour, so far as it is compatible with the 
Word of God, to make the priests my friends ; and for 
this purpose I have found it of great use to read with 
them the Word of God, and to explain it in a simple, 
clear, and practical manner. Besides, I endeavour to 
keep up a friendly intercourse with the Alacas of the 
Churches, and visit them sometimes in the church on 
Lord's days. Also on fast days (Wednesday and Friday) 
I have resolved, for well-considered reasons, to abstain 
at least from meat. After the King had kissed the 
cross which was presented to him by the Alaca of each 
church, all the people went home, and then the Fasika 
(eating and drinking) began. The King sent me a 

April 28, 1840 — This morning two Watos came to 
see me. The W^atos are Gallas, dwelling on the mountain 
Wato-Dalatsha, which I saw on our expedition to Maitsha, 
in the neighbourhood of the Hawash. The Watos say 
that they alone are pm-e Gallas, and therefore they do 
not marry the others. When I asked about their bu- 
siness, they replied, that it was to bless and to curse. 
With this view, they go from tribe to tribe, and neither 
Gallas nor Christians will touch them ; being convinced, 
they say, that whom the Watos bless are blessed, and 
whom they cm-se are cursed ; and they are not wanting 
on their parts to relate a number of instances to show 


the success of their blessings. When the Watos enter 
the houses of the Gallas, they are directly prevented 
by them, who are in great fear of their cursing. How- 
ever, they let them eat and drink as much as they like, 
because if they did not, the Watos would curse them. 
They are particularly fond of the flesh of the hippo- 
potamus, which they kill in great numbers in the Ha- 
wash ; and in this respect they resemble the Woitos in 
Amhara, whom I have before mentioned. The other 
G alias are not fond of this flesh, nor that of hens, though 
they sacrifice the hen to the bad spirits (Sarotsh). 
They also told me that they sometimes sacrifice a white 
cow to the OgUa, and a male-goat to the Atete ; that 
they pray much on the Sanbata Gudda (Great Sab- 
bath), and take cofi"ee on that day in honour of Oglia ; 
on which account coffee di-inking is despised by the 
Christians, as well as in opposition to the Mahomedans. 
They said that I might travel any where with them 
without fear. On asking them about the sources of 
the Hawash, they told me that it rose from a marsh at 
the foot of a mountain called Entsheti, between Mait- 
sha and Betsho Woreb. As they were about to bless 
me, I said that I would make them acquainted with 
the blessings of Him who created heaven and earth, 
and had so loved mankind that He gave His Son Jesus 
Christ to redeem them from sin, and to make them 
happy in this and another world, if they would only 
believe in His blessed Son. I then endeavoured to 
show them the nature of sin, and the necessity of a 


Savioiu" in order to be reconciled to God. The Chris- 
tians who heard me speaking with heathens about 
Christ and faith in Him, were much pleased. 

April 29, 1840 — All the people were eating and 
drinking, and many excesses wxre committed in the 
streets. The Debteras were worst of all. One of them 
being drunk to-day, cut off the hand of his friend, and 
took to flight. In the evening they went thi'ough the 
town begging for alms. I took the opportunity of showr 
ing them the bad consequences of their fasting. These 
Debteras, a year ago, went to the Gallas of Mentshar, 
the Governor of whom was about to put them to prison; 
but as they feigned that the King, who had sent them, 
was drawing near, they were set at liberty — Two priests 
from Latibata in Lasta came begging for books, which 
I gave them. 

May 1 — Three monks from Lasta came to see me : 
they were great beggars, as monks in general are. 
Afterward, a man from Bulga came, begging for medi- 
cine. As the King to-day distributed much clothing 
among the poor, in memory of Tecla Haimanot, I took 
the opportunity of sho^ang my people how we are 
clothed with Christ's righteousness without our own 

May 5 — I went this morning to see the Tabiban in 
their monastery, called ^lantck, in the forest of ]\Iamrat, 
about two hours' walk from Ankobar. On arriving at 
the village, I asked for the Alaca, when, after a consi- 
derable time, an old man came trembling, and so much 


afraid of me, that he was about to return immediately 
to his house. I told him, however, that I had not come 
with a bad design : he stayed a short time, but still 
trembling from hands to feet. He wore iron around 
his loins, and his whole body wore traces of self-tor- 
tm'e, of which he much boasted. I inquired for their 
books ; but those I saw were the same as the other 
Abyssinians possess ; namely, Organon INIariam, Melka 
Michael, and some parts of the Bible. All were written 
in iEthiopic. I endeavoured to ascertain whether they 
had any books in another language ; but they always 
said that they had not. They then introduced me to 
the room in which the congregations assemble, larger 
and better constructed than any I have seen of the 
kind in Abyssinia, though it is very dark. In this 
room, next to the walls, are raised banks of clay, upon 
which they sleep in an upright posture, being secured 
from falling by straps which are fastened to the walls. 
They were very proud of praising their religious rigi- 
dity, for which they do not come short of the other 
Abyssinians, even of their monks. But when I asked 
why they had recom'se to such austerity, they replied, 
in order that they might become righteous before God. 
I then told them about the only way of being justified 
before God, according to Rom. iii. Indeed this people 
endeavour to the utmost to enter into the kingdom of 
God only by their own performances. They said, that 
they fast every day, except on Saturday and Sunday ; 
and that they were pure in body and mind. They wear 

240 THE T.\BIBAN. 

Matebs, like the Abyssinians, and are skilful in many 
things, working in iron and clay. On this account, 
the King is attached to them ; bvit the Abyssinians are 
in great fear of them, considering them sorcerers, and 
will neither enter their houses, nor eat with them. 
Their Alaca is feared so much, that they believe that if 
he cursed a person, the curse would be fulfilled in a short 
time. The Tabiban seem to me intentionally to en- 
tertain this fear, which protects them against the per- 
secutions of the Abyssinians, and prevents intercourse 
with those who have not the same ideas with them. 
Outwardly they arc Christians, as they go to the 
churches of the Christians ; their children are baptized, 
and they have the books of the Abyssinians ; but they 
are strongly suspected of being Jews. They told me 
that if I had come on Saturday, they would not have 
received me, as on that day they neither go out of their 
houses nor kindle fires. Their fathers, they said, came 
from Geshen, in the north of Shoa. I could not learn 
any thing further from them at this time. They set 
bread and Abyssinian beer before me, of which I was 
not afraid to partake, though my people would not. I 
promised to send them a copy of the New Testament. 
I went home, being grieved at not having found real 
Christians, as I was formerly inclined to think them. 
We seek in vain for a hidden church in Abyssinia. 

May 8, 1840 — All the people are going to the festi- 
val of Tecla Haimanot at Debra Libanos, to drink of 
the holy well of this Saint, which is said to cure sick 


men ou the fast days of this monk. I had resoh-ed to 
go and ascertain the truth of this report ; but the instruc- 
tion of my four boys detained me at Ankobar. 

May 9 — To-day the Shoans each kill a hen. They 
say that they thus prevent sickness or other calamity 
coming upon them or their country. The Mahome- 
dans do the same. They consider this as a means of re- 
conciliation with God. Such is the darkness of this 
people ! It is evident that they have adopted this custom 
fi'ora the Gallas. Such things always lead me to think 
that there is but little hope of a reformation of this 
fallen Church. However, the Lord can do above what 
we can understand at present. 

I finished to-day Geography with my boys ; but I 
intend repeating it. I have found the method useful, 
first to go over slightly a part of the book, and then 
more closely afterward, till it is impressed on the 
minds of my scholars. 

May 13 — This morning I set out from Ankobar for 
Angollala. The King had invited me to accompany 
him to Dcbra Libanos, a holy place of the Abyssinians, 
the distance of four days^ journey from Ankobar, in the 
north-west of Shoa. Tecla Haimanot, one of the most 
celebrated saints of Abyssinia, is said to have lived 
here. In the month of May the Abyssinians celebrate 
the death of this saint, at which time pilgrims from all 
parts of Shoa, and other provinces of Abyssinia, assem- 
ble at Debra Libanos to drink from the TabeJe, the so- 
called wonder-well of Tecla Haimanot, in order to be 



cured from sickness, and obtain forgiveness of sins for 
seven years. The King himself usually goes to protect 
the pilgrims against the inroads of the Gallas. I at 
first determined not to accept the invitation ; but as the 
King had sent an express, I thought it better not 
to refuse it, preferring however to go alone with 
my servants through the Galla Tribes of Abedtshoo and 
Gelan, in order to learn the correctness of the intelli- 
gence which I had received about the recent conversion 
of the Galla people in Shoa Meda. 

May 14, 1840 — This morning we passed the Tshatsha 
river, which separates the Christians and Gallas in a 
north-north-westerly direction for the distance of several 
days' journey. This river flows through a deep dale 
between two hills, which prevents the passage on the 
side of the Christians as well as of the Gallas. This 
natural obstacle may be the reason why the Gallas were 
formerly imable to destroy the whole Christian king- 
dom of Shoa, and why the King has built Angollala in 
the neighbourhood of the passage of this river, as he 
has thus the key to the Galla countries in the south and 
west of Shoa. Having marched the whole day through 
a plain land, in the evening we rested at Kum Dengai, 
the village in which Berkie, who assists me in my Galla 
translations, was born. His people received me very 

May 15 — This morning we left Kum Dengai, accom- 
panied by about two hundred persons. Several petty 
Governors of the Galla villages begged me tobaptize them. 


I said that I could not do so until they had first been in- 
structed in the doctrines of the Christian Religion, and 
sincerely believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a 
great pity that the Abyssinian priests do not require 
something more from the Gallas than being circumcised 
and baptized, wearing a string of silk, building churches, 
and making ofi'erings of grain to the priests. The 
King had imperatively required all the Gallas in the 
district of the Ayto Organon to become Christians ; 
and being therefore in great fear, they had been cir- 
cumcised, and built five ehm'chcs. These are the facts 
of the reported conversion of the Gallas in the pro- 
vince of Shoa Meda. A Galla Mission might be esta- 
blished there ; but nothing can be done without the 
consent of the King. I hope, however, that he will not 
prevent my going there. I spoke with these simple 
Gallas respecting the real conversion of their hearts to 
the living God. They were surprised at my not laying 
stress upon those things which the Abyssinian priests 
endeavour to point out as being indispensably necessary. 
At Kum Dengai, the Tshatsha, Beresa, and three other 
rivers join together in a deep dale, and take the common 
name of Adabai ; which, having taken up several other 
rivers and rivulets, is called Jamma, in the neighbour- 
hood of Sena Markos. 

May 16 — To-day we arrived at Sena Markos, where 
the whole north and west of Shoa is seen. In the north 
and west, a chain of high mountains extends, which 
protects this Christian kingdom against the inroads of 

M 2 


the Gallas. Sena INIarkos is the second holy place of 
the AbyssinianSj where Sena Markos, a great saint, is 
said to have lived in the time of Tccla Haimanot. The 
entrance to this village conducts over a steep rock, which 
only one ])erson can pass in descending. The village is 
surrounded in the east and north by a rock : it is a 
natural fortress. I asked after the Alaca of Sena 
Markos, who is also Alaca of Tegulet ; but the people 
told me that he was at Debra Libanos. I then drank 
of the holy water, which flows between a rock. I found 
it a little heavy. The whole nature of Sena Markos 
shows that it has been shaken very much by earthquakes, 
as immense rocks have fallen down into the valley in 
which the majestic river Jamma has its course to the 
Nile, which is only three days distant from Sena Markos. 
I observed the bed of the Nile between the mountains 
of Godtsham and the Dera Galla tribe. 

May 17, 1810 — To-day we passed the bed of a dry 
river, which Tecla Haimanot is said to have cursed, be- 
cause the water of it had carried away the cross which 
had fallen from the hands of the saint. As the cross was 
found at the mouth of the river, they say that, on this 
account, water can only be seen there. I told them, 
however, that the water flowed beneath the sand. It is 
beyond all belief how fond the Abyssinians are of stories 
respecting their saints. We marched for a long time 
tlirough a district which had been totally desolated by 
the Avars of King Asfa Wussen with the people of the 
provinces of Morabietie and Morat. These provinces 


were formerly governed by their own King. Their 
first King was Masamer ; the second, Abisag; thethird, 
Jesaias ; the foui*th, Zeddu ; and the fifth Hailu. Asfa 
"VVussen, King of Efat and Shoa, and the father of 
Sahela Selassieh, the present King of Shoa, vanquished 
King Zeddu; and Sahela Selassieh vanquished King 
Hailu, and united his kingdom to Shoa and Efat. The 
residence of these Kings was on the hill Joalo, at the 
foot of which we had rested the day before. The people 
of Morabietie and Morat are rude and proud. 

May 18 — Yesterday evening we rested in the neigh- 
boxirhood of Debra Libanos, and this morning we 
passed the river Sega-Wodam, which is the confluence 
of the Sana Boka, Sana Robi, and other rivers, which 
I passed in the Galla Tribes of Gelan and Woberi. 
The Sega-Wodam flows into the Nile. Pilgrims are 
advised by the priests, on passing this river, to bathe 
themselves in it before they drink of the holy water of 
Tecla Haimanot. Though I had warned my people 
against such a foolish practice, yet they cast themselves 
naked into the river. We then ascended the mountain 
on which Uebra Libanos is situated, when I learnt 
that the King was at the wells. I hastened therefore 
to meet him. After the return of the King to his 
tent, he conversed with me for a short time, and said, 
" You have done well in coming to see our miracles." 
I said, that I intended to go the next day and examine 
the quality of the water. 

May 19 — To-day I set out to visit the well of Tecla 


Haimanot. The water wliicli I took disagreed with 
me. I observed traces of iron in the stones. It is a 
mineral water ; but the superstition of the xVbyssinians, 
and the cunningness of the priests, have attributed to 
it miraculous powers. They drink the water from 
five to ten days. I was asked by many people, par- 
ticularly priests, what I thought of it. I said, that 
water of this kind also existed in my country ; that 
God had blessed this water with healing properties for 
the good of men ; and that therefore they should give 
the glory to God, and not to Tecla Haimanot. I then 
directed them to Christ. Beggary and monkery are very 
great at Debra Libanos, and I do not much like the 
place. I sent a copy of the ^thiopic New Testament 
to the Alaca of the Church of St. Marj^, which he 
accepted with much pleasure. The priests of this 
Church say, that, many years ago, a cross fell from 
heaven, which a monk having found gave it to their 
Church. AVhen the pilgrims have drank from the 
well of Tecla Haimanot, they go to this Church to kiss 
the cross. Debra Libanos is a natural fortress, and 
cannot be taken without European arms. The village 
is not very large. 

May 21, 1840 — To-day the King went vAih. the pil- 
grims to the place where water flows out from the rocks. 
It is difficult to ascend this place. The King himself 
took some of the water in his own cup, and presented 
it to the people. Here they dug some mire, of a blue 
colour, and painted their faces in the form of a cross. 


believing that this will prevent sickness. There is a 
tree here which is spht, through which they say Tecla 
Haimanot saved himself on the inroad of the Gallas ; 
but I told them that at the time of Tecla Haimanot 
the Gallas were not known in Abyssinia. The King 
ha\ing performed this ceremony, gave orders to return 
to Augollala. We marched first westward to the 
mountains of Mugher, and then through the Tribes 
of Gullale, Tshidda, AVoberi, Gelan, and Abedtshoo, 
arriving at Augollala on the 26th of May. 

May 27 — To-day I arrived at Ankobar. I received 
the painful news, that ]\Ir. Kielmaier, a German officer 
and friend of mine, had died on the road ; and that his 
servant, Husseui, or Samuel Georgis, as he was called 
by the Rev. W. Kruse, who baptized him at Cairo, 
was on the way, having with him his master's luggage. 

May 28 — To-day Ibrahim, the servant of Mr. 
Airston, whose death I mentioned on the 14th of 
March, died in consequence of hectic fever. He was 
interred in a place called Kobastle, in the lower part 
of Ankobar, where ]Mahomedans are usually buried. 
I with my servant and the Armenian Pietros attended 
the funeral. The body was covered with a white 
Abyssinian cloth, and carried on a barrow to the 
grave, which was dug in the form usual witli the 
Christians, no Mahomedans being at hand to make it 
according to their custom. It was about three feet 
deep, and very narrow ; so that there was scarcely room 
for the body. Wood was then placed uj)on the corpse. 


upon which they put earth and stones ; so that the 
rain shoukl not penetrate, nor hyaenas be able to un- 
cover the grave. The effects of the deceased were then 
taken an account of by the King's people, and taken into 
his magazine. The people who took care of Ibrahim 
during his sickness did not receive any portion of his 

May 30, 1840 — A priest of Gurague came to see me. 
He said that he had been in Cambat ; that the pre- 
sent King, a good old man, was called Degoie ; that 
the capital city was called Karemsa, situated on a 
mountain ; that this kingdom is not very large ; and that 
there are only fifteen churches, but no priests. Cam- 
bat is distant from Gurague only six days journey. 

In the evening, Debtera Habta Selassieh came, 
begging me to teach him the Hebrew Language before 
he learnt the Greek, which he had begun. As the 
Hebrew has a greater affinity to the Abyssinian lan- 
guages, I thought that he would soon advance in the 
Hebrew, and therefore I complied with his request. 

June 1 — Samuel Georgis arrived to-day at Farri, 
and confirmed the news which I had before received 
of his master's death. I took to-day a fifth boy into 
my house, who wished to be instructed by me. His 
name is Himtza Roophael, a native of Dima, in Godt- 
sham. He was with Ibrahim, whose death I have 
before mentioned. In the evening I began Hebrew 
with Habta Selassieh. 

June 2 — I began Bible history with my boys. "With 


regard to other branches of knowledge, I think it 
better at first to restrict myself to geographj% uni- 
versal, and natiu'al history. I consider biblical in- 
struction as the principal part. In the morning and 
evening I have service with the boys. Besides which 
I intend to preach a sermon every Lord's day to the 
people of my house, but without excluding others 
who may wash to hear me. The Lord be praised 
for the gracious assistance which He has hitherto 
given me ! 

Ju7ie 8 — I was called by the King to Angollala, 
where I met with Samuel Georgis. The King asked 
me about the luggage of Ibrahim, as he had not 
received the whole of it. I replied, that as Ibrahim 
was not in my house, I could not tell who had taken 
his property. He then said, " I know that you have 
not taken anything; but the two monks and other 
people who were with Ibrahim in the same house 
have stolen what belonged to me. I shall make them 
swear before the priests." I said, that the monks 
would not care for that, as they had told me that if 
they should be excommunicated in Shoa, they would 
go to Cairo, where the Coptic Patriarch would dis- 
annul the excommunication. 

June 13 — After returning from Angollala, I arranged 
the lessons with my boys in the following manner. 
In the forenoon, morning prayer, reading of the Bible 
and exposition, writing, and biblical narrations. In 
the afternoon, reading of the Bible, biblical doctrines 
M 5 


in a systematic manner, geography, and imiversal his- 
tory. Service in the evening. 

June 20, 1840 — I have been unwell for the last three 
days. My sickness began with fever and swelling in 
my neck. My people believed that I had got what 
they call " Lagheda-sickness," or swelling of the ton- 
sils, and were afraid that I should die. They said, that 
the Abyssinians generally cut off the swollen parts; 
and that if they did not do this, there was no hope of 
recovery. Tliinking that this operation might be of 
use, I did not refuse it j but when they failed in remov- 
ing the swelling, I requested them to leave me, telling 
them that I knew what was best myself. Then they 
spoke about bad spirits, which they said would kill me 
if I did not follow their advice. In the evening I was 
much better. 

Jime 22 — To-day, with the Lord's gracious assis- 
tance, I was able to perform my ordinary business. 

June 27 — The King having returned from his expe- 
dition against the Sirto Gallas in the south of Shoa, I 
was called by him to Angollala with Samuel Georgis. 

June 28 — The King spoke with me about the Letter 
which he intended to write to India. The Letter, 
which he ordered me to translate into the English Lan- 
guage, iTins thus : — 

"May this Letter, which is sent by Sahela Selassieh, 
the King of Shoa and Efat, of Gurague and of the 
Galla nation, come to the great English Company in 
India. Are you well ? I am quite well. About your 


happiness, I liave been informed by your countrymen ; 
and, as I heard of your kindness toward all men, I was 
much rejoiced, and resolved upon making friendship 
with you. WTiether my person is bad or good, you 
will have heard from your countrymen, who have been 
in my country. I wish very much that it may please 
you to make friendship with me. God has given me 
a good and large kingdom ; but arts and sciences have 
not yet come to my country, as they have to yours. 
May it therefore please you to assist me, particularly 
in sending guns, cannon, and other things, which I 
have not in my country. I do not state how much you 
shall send me. You may act according to your love 
and kindness, which are known everywhere. As to 
myself, I am ready to send to yovi things which are not 
in your country. You may please to tell me what you 
wish, and I shall send it to you. The reason that I 
did not send it to you at present, is, that I did not 
know completely what you wish from me. I have sent 
to you two horses, having understood that you like 
them. This may be considered as a sign of friendship. 
I do not think that it is a fit present to you ; but you 
may consider it as the beginning of my love toward 
you, and of my friendship with you." 

A similar letter was written to C apt. Haines at Aden, 
accompanied by a present of a horse and mule, a gas- 
sela skin, and an Abyssinian cloth. 

June 29 — To-day I returned to Ankobar. On the 
way we were overtaken l>y heavy rain, which in a 


short time swelled tlie rivulets so much, that one of my 
servants, who was carrying my provisions and kitchen 
vessels, was carried away by the stream, and would 
have been lost if he had not seized a large stone which 
was in the middle of the water. All the luggage, 
however, which he had with him was lost. 

July 6, 184'0' — Samuel Georgis set out from Ankobar 
to go to Aden. I shall be very glad if his mission proves 
successful, as otherwise I am afraid that the King will 
become cold toward me and all Europeans. 

Juli/ 14 — In my sermon to-day, I explained to my 
people what was the divine image of Adam, and what 
was his fall. In the afternoon, 1 examined my boys 
about my morning sermon. Afterward, we read the 
history of Balaam. I found much consolation in the 
words : — How shall I curse, ivhom God hath ?wt 
cursed ? 

July 21 — I preached about the new birth, according 
to John iii. 6. Two Debteras were with us. Afterward, 
I spoke with them about their neglecting the instruc- 
tion of their people. Debtera AVorknech said that the 
priests themselves were not instructed, and gave me the 
following instance of their ignorance. Some years ago, 
the Gallas on the Nile made an inroad into Godtsham, 
when a Galla took from the house of a Christian the 
Books of Samuel and the Kings in iEthiopic. Some 
time afterward the King of Shoa fell upon these Gallas, 
and a Christian soldier from Bulga found the books in 
the house of a Galla, and took them to Bulga, when 


he showed them to his priests, who considering them 
conjm-ing-books, would not touch them. Afterward, 
Worknech went to Bulga, and knowing their bibhcal 
contents, bought them for three pieces of salt, though 
the usual price is three dollars. 

July22 — I called in the morning upon Alaca AYolda 
Hanna, who always asks me about such passages of 
the Bible as he does not well understand. Afterward, 
I received a friendly letter from Capt. Haines at Aden, 
by the arrival of Ali Arab, who brought mc some 
money. The collector of taxes had taken from the 
money thirty-three dollars; but the King returned 
them to me, saying, that he did not levy custom upon 
my money. My people advised me to offer the thirty- 
three dollars to the King; but I said that I never 
would make a present in money, as it would be of bad 
consequences in future; and besides I had no money 
to spare. 

July 28 — In my sermon to-day I instructed my 
people about the real nature of true repentance, accor- 
ding to Joel ii. 

July 29 — In translating Matt, xix., my Galla in- 
formed me that the Gallas took the wife of a deceased 
brother. A Dcbtera from Mantek, the monastery of 
the Tabiban, came to see me. He praised much their 
lashing themselves with thorns at appointed times, 
washing their feet till they become white, and their 
old Alaca. I spoke with him about the Pharisee and 
publican, Luke xviii. 


August 4), 1840 — To-day Guebra Georgis, whom 
I had not seen for more than a month, came to see me. 
He said, that he had been in a monastery called Mamrat 
(mother of mercy,) at the foot of a high mountain, 
and had read the whole New Testament with three 
monks, who had begged him to teach them Amharic, 
As the sister of his father had been disgraced by the 
King, she went to the monks of this monastery, in 
order by their assistance to be reconciled to the King. 
Guebra accompanied her to the monastery. He told 
me that these monks fed a number of sick and poor 
people at the expense of the monastery. This is the 
first example of the kind I have heard of in Shoa. 
I have frequently thought of establishing a similar insti- 
tution, in which I might supply poor people not only 
with bread for the body, but more particularly with the 
bread of life. I have calculated that the expenses would 
be about twenty-five to thirty dollars for ten persons. 
Indeed such an institution would highly recommend 
our work in the eyes of the Shoans, and the King in par- 
ticular. But such an institution could not be establish- 
ed without the consent of the King, as a separate 
building would be requisite ; but I do not think that 
he would refuse a petition to do good to the poor people, 
to whom he pays attention in many respects. 

August 5 — \^liile I was instructing my boys, a monk 
came begging me for a rosary, having lost his own. I 
said, that I had none, and was not in want of any, as 
I was ordered by the Word of God to pray continually. 


SO that I could not count my prayers ; that such a con- 
tinual praying intercourse with the Lord was the ope- 
ration of the Holy S})irit, and could not be bought ; 
and that he should pray for this Holy Spirit, and offer 
his whole heart to Him, and then he would not want 
such a useless thing. The monk went away gi'ieved at 
not being able to say over his beads. 

August 6 — To-day the sixteen days' fast of the Abys- 
sinians begin, in memory of the pretended ascension 
of St. Mary. The King went to Machal Wans, to 
keep there a sti'ong fast, which is prescribed by the 
Church at this time. Children also are commanded to 
fast, on which account I spoke to my boys respecting 
fasting. As children also receive the Sacrament at this 
time, I instructed them about this holy mystery, ac- 
cording to Matt. xxvi. 27, and 1 Cor. xi. ; and parti- 
cularly endeavoured to expose their error respecting 
this sacrament, showing them from 1 Cor. xi. 29 — 31 
that an unholy reception of it will produce sickness, 
and in general a judgment on body and mind. 

August 1 1 — A man from Debra Bcrhan came, 
begging for an iEthiopic New Testament. I said, that 
I had given away all that I possessed. I bought a 
beautiful skin of a red cow for six pieces of salt. The 
Shoans, particularly the people of Morat, are skilful in 
pre])aring skins. They take the bark of a tree, called 
(juffu, and pulverize it ; then they put it with the skin 
into water for about eight days, after which tlie skin is 


taken out, rubbed with the juice of lemons, and 
dried in the sun. 

My Galla made me acquainted with some other cus- 
toms of his people. Every eight years, he said, they 
appoint a Heiu, or general Governor, a man who has 
the reputation of being a warrior and public speaker, 
who passes through the whole tribe, hearing the com- 
plaints of the oppressed, and deciding in cases of jus- 
tice. He also decides in matters of war and peace. 
Wherever he goes, he is respected, and supplied with all 
that he wants. When the eight years have expired, he 
is called Gedamotsh, a repeated Governor. He cannot 
be chosen the second time. In the south of Shoa to 
the Hawash, three Heius are appointed. If a Galla 
likes a stranger, he makes him his Mogasa, or favourite, 
declaring before the Abadula, the governor of a small 
district, that he has made him his friend, and that no 
man should touch him. This ceremony is performed 
before the whole people, and sacrifices are offered. If 
any one should kill or ofi'end the Mogasa, he is obliged 
to pay 100 kum or 100 oxen, which is the price paid 
by a murderer. If you have become the Mogasa of a 
Galla, you can go through the whole tribe ; but if you 
have not, the Gallas would kill you immediately. I do 
not doubt that Tshara, the Governor of Mulofalada, 
would give me this privilege if I should go to his 

August 13, 1840 — I called upon Alaca Wolda Hanna, 
who wished to study the Hebrew language, having 


been informed of Habta Selassieh's having advanced in 
this study in a short time. Thus I have two scholars in 

August 17 — The father of the present King of Shoa 
is said to have foretold, in consequence of a dream^ that 
at the time of his son, Sahela Sclassieh, red people, (thus 
white people are called by the Abyssinian s) would come 
and teach all arts and wisdom. As several Whites have 
lately arrived in Shoa, the people begin to think that 
this prophesy is about to be accomplished. 

A slave from Wolamo, in the south of Cambat, gave 
me some information respecting his country. Wolamo 
is a small kingdom inhabited by Christians, who are 
^\ithout priests. The capital city is called Wofana, and 
a large river called Uma, of which I had heard before, 
flows through the country. The people are circumcised, 
but do not keep fasts, and have but few festivals in the 
course of the year. A slave is bought for twenty pieces 
of salt. The neighbouring Galla tribes, are Kulla, 
Worata, and Limo. 

As the above mentioned slave had been first sold to 
Caffa, and thinking that he would be able to give me 
some information about this country, I asked him some 
questions. The King of CafFa is a warrior, and makes 
war with all his neighbours. In the south of Caffa 
there is a black people, called Golda, who go nearly 
naked. Tliey do not eat the flesh of cows, but only 
nuikc use of the milk. Another people of this kind 
are called Doko, who are at war with Caffa. The capital 


cities of Caffa are Dentsli and Bonga. A great river, 
called Kibbe, flows from Caffa to the Nile, but others 
say to the south. Probably it may be the Quilimance, 
which flows into the Indian Ocean at the higher parts 
of the Melinde. The people of Caffa manufacture good 
cloth. A good piece is bought for six pieces of salt. 
The currency of Caffa consists in pieces of salt ; silver 
money not being known. The cm-rency of Wolamo 
is also in salt, which they get from the Arroosi Gallas. 

August 18, 1840 — I spoke in my sermon about real 
faith, according to 1 John v. I was told that Alaca 
Wolda Hannahad taken my Hebrew Bible to his church, 
and recommended the study of Hebrew. 

August 30 — A slave from Sentshiro gave me some 
information respecting his country. The present King, 
Amo, is a warrior, and likes all people of this kind. It 
seems to me that the people of Sentshiro were formerly 
Christians, because they have circumcision and some 
Christian feasts ; but otherwise they do not appear to 
know any thing about Christianity. The capital city is 
called Anger. The Sentshii'os, like the Gallas, do not eat 
hens. Goats also are not eaten. The Guraguean mer- 
chants go to Sentshiro, and receive Dirgo (maintenance) 
from the King till they return to then* country. Women 
only are sold as slaves to other countries : male slaves 
from Sentshiro are obtained by other nations by means 
of war. The reason why females only are sold, is 
stated to be this — ]\Iany ages ago, the King of Sent- 
shiro commanded a man of quality to slaughter his 


wife, as the King needed her as a medicine. The 
man went honie^ but did not venture to kill his wife, 
though he found her asleej). The King then ordered 
the wife to kill her husband, which she did ; and on ac- 
count of this female cruelty, the custom arose of selling 
only women to other countries. 

There are people in Sentshiro who have no other 
duties to pay than to deliver their first-born sons to the 
king, who appoints these unfortunate creatures for 
sacrifices. The reason of this barbarity is stated to be 
this — Formerly a high pillar of iron stood in the neigh- 
bourhood of the capital city, and as long as this column 
existed, the people of Sentshiro had neither summer nor 
winter, but had rain the whole year, and the fruits did 
not come to maturity. The king having asked his 
learned men what should be done in order to secure the 
seasons of summer and winter, they cut downi the pillar 
nearly to the ground, when the rain decreased, and the 
fruits ripened. But they advised the King that it was 
necessary, in order to prevent a return of the former 
confusion, always to sacrifice a number of first-born 
sons to the Deity. A part of the pillar is still to be 
seen, as I learned from my informant. 

This evening one of the King's slaves, who, with her 
husband, resides in the fore part of my house, having 
been delivered of a child, the house has become unclean 
for twenty days, and whoever enters it, is considered 
unclean and cannot go to church, nor take the; Holy 
Sujjper. Thus are the Abyssiniaus insnarcdwith num- 


berless forms and ceremonies — fetters of self-righteous- 
ness ; lost in darkness^ and separated from the life of 
God. How is it then to be expected that they should 
enlighten the surrounding heathens. May the Lord^ 
our faithful God, soon cause His blessed light to shine 
upon ^Ethiopia and the numerous tribes of heathens of 
central Africa, that His holy Name, in these strong 
holds of darkness and death, may alone be praised for 
ever and ever ! 





Ankobar, March 10, 181.2 — I h.vd for some time 


past been anxiously looking forward to a journey to the 
sea coast. The obstacles which my dear Brethren, 
Messrs. MuUer and Muhleisen, who had been sent out 
by the Committee to assist the Shoa INIission, had met 
at Tadjm'ra, regarding their proceeding to Shoa, had 
been a matter of sorrow to me, and called forth such 
endeavours on my part as might enable them to prose- 
cute their way to Shoa, and commence their Missionary 
labours in that country. A speedy journey to the sea 
coast was considered the best step which I could take 
to facilitate their proceeding to Shoa ; a step which had 
been recommended to me by the Committee in a Letter 
which had informed me of the departure of the Breth- 
ren from Europe. 

Desirable, however, as this step would have been on 
my part, yet the precarious situation of our Mission in 
Shoa, prevented me for a considerable time from taking 
a step which would undoubtedly prove beneficial to my 
Brethren on the coast. Her Majesty's Embassy arrived 
at the Court of Shoa with most valuable tokens of friend- 
ship to the King of Shoa. The principal object of this 
Embassy was to form a Treaty of amity and commerce 
with his Shoan Majesty. A Treaty of this nature was 
of course of great importance to the external existence 
of our Mission, because if once concluded by the Sove- 
reigns of Great Britain and Shoa, it woidd include a 
footing for British subjects in the dominions of Shoa. 
But the question was, whether the King, although he 
had first expressed his desire to join in friendship with 


Her Majesty's Government, could be persuaded to sub- 
scribe to tlie terms of a Treaty, which would render this 
footing undoubted and uncontested. So long as his 
Shoan jNIajesty's sentiments toward Great Britain was 
not known, my external situation was also doubtful in 
many respects ; and had his Majesty refused to enter 
into any connexion with the British, the increase of 
Missionary labourers in Shoa would not have been ad- 
visable. Thus my departure for the coast was pro- 
tracted by circumstances which it was not in my power 
to remove, although I did all that I could to forward 
the Government's object whenever an opportimity was 
presented to me. 

This state of uncertainty with regard to his Shoan 
JNIajesty's sentiments toward Great Britain, was however 
removed by the terms of a Treaty which Her Majesty's 
Representative, Capt. C. W. Harris, concluded with 
the King of Shoa on the 16th of Nov. 1841, after he 
had displayed great perseverance, prudence, and firm- 
ness, in overcoming difficulties, which will honour him 
for ever in the annals of Shoa. 

After this Treaty had been signed and sealed by his 
Shoan iMajesty and Her Majesty's Ambassador in Shoa, 
many douljtful questions with regard to my own situa- 
tion, as well as that of oiu- Mission, were removed ; and 
my desire of proceeding to the coast was anew excited 
in my mind, as the increase of Europeans in the country 
in general, and of Missionaries in particular, could not 
now be (jbjected to by his Shoan Majesty, after having 


agreed in the treaty, " that British subjects should not 
be prevented nor molested in proceeding to Shoa, in 
their respective business in the country, and their move- 
ments over the country and beyond." 

^"Miile engaged in thinking of my projected journey 
to the coast, I received the intelligence, that our Breth- 
ren had made a second attempt to penetrate into Shoa, 
but with the same disappointment as before. At the 
same time, I received news of my own private matters 
in Germany, which contributed to my undertaking the 
projected journey. But as the arrangement of my pri- 
vate matters woidd require time in Em'ope, and as 
therefore a speedy arrival on the coast was not indis- 
pensably necessary, I resolved upon taking my road to 
the coast of Massowah, particularly as many important 
objects might be attained by so doing. As a matter of 
great importance appeared to me, the personal acquaint- 
ance of the new Abuna, the head of the Abyssinian 
Church. I was also desirous of taking a personal view 
of the state of things in Tigre ; many favourable re- 
ports regarding our Mission there having been carried 
to Shoa. And lastly, I wished to know, whether the 
road from Shoa to Massowah was not practicable, in 
case any accident should happen by which the route of 
Tadjurra might be obstructed. 

]My departure from Ankobar was appointed to take 
place to-day. Having last night prepared the members 
of my establishment for my approaching departure, by 
addressing them from the words of our Saviour in 


John xiv. — and having recommended^ in fervent prayer, 
myself, my work, and all my future proceedings, to the 
almighty care of the God of Israel — I set out from 
Ankobar about four o^clock in the morning, before many 
people could assemble to trouble me w-ith vain lamenta- 
tions, and superstitious prophecies as to the issue of my 
long journey. But although I endeavoured to leave 
the capital before the people should be up and hear of 
my departm'e, yet a considerable body of men pm'sued 
me as far as the Chacka Mountain, the fatiguing 
ascent of which prevented them from making any 
further attempt to overtake me. They returned to 
Ankobar with great lamentations, and set the whole 
town in motion with their weeping, as I afterward un- 
derstood from people who took the trouble to follow me 
to Angollala. 

I should have remained to receive the evidence of the 
public and general feelings of esteem which the inha- 
bitants of Ankobar seemed to express toward me, had I 
not been aware, from other occasions of a similar nature, 
of the impossibility of speaking a word of edification 
to the excited multitudes ; and had I not been afraid of 
jealousy rising in the mind of the influential people 
of Ankobar, who had ne\er before seen a stranger so 
nmch honoured by their countrymen. Besides, I was 
well aware of the boisterous manner in which beggars 
of all kinds would have annoyed and molested me, qua- 
lifying my grateful feelings in the remembrance of a 
jjlace, where my Heavenly Father had given me so many 



proofs of grace and mercy during a residence of three 
yearSj and from which I humbly hope and beUeve that 
the seed of everlasting life will be carried to the remote 
and dark regions of Central Africa. 

Although I had obtained the King's permission to 
leave his country, yet I thought it prudent and proper 
to take leave of him again, and once more to express 
my acknowledgment of the kindness which I had ex- 
perienced from his Majesty for three years. As 
he was at Augollala, his favourite residence, I pro- 
ceeded to that place, where I arrived about mid-day, my 
people with the luggage being unable to keep pace with 
me. I intended to take with me as many copies of the 
iEthiopic and Amharic Scriptures as I could ; but to 
my grief I found that my beasts of bui'den could not 
carry the quantity of books which I had set apart for 
my journey. It must be remarked, that camels cannot 
be used in this part of Abyssinia, as the mountainous 
nature of the country, and its cold temperature, does 
not agree with an animal which seems to have been 
created for the particular benefit of plain and hot 

His Shoan Majesty was informed of my arrival at 
Angollala by my Baldaraba (Introducer) Ayto Habti, 
great master of the Tabiban (mechanics), and royal 
physician in ordinary. His Majesty sent word that he 
was very busy in making preparations for his approach- 
ing expedition against the rebellious Galla tribe of 


Yerrer ; and that he could not give me an audience 
until to-morrow. 

March W, 184^2 — Early this morning; my Baldaraba 
made his appearance, requestingmy immediate attendance 
at the palace. I found his Majesty talking with his offi- 
cers in the court-yard. As soon as he observed me, he 
ordered me to draw near; and took me to the eminence 
from whence he usually gives judgment, and frequently, 
also, an audience. Having inquired after my health, 
he repeated several times, " You should not leave me, 
my father, as I shall have no adviser when you are 
away.^' I answered, that the reasons which induced 
me to leave his country for a short time were very 
urgent, and partly intended for his owti benefit. — "Well, 
then,^' he said, " I will not prevent you from going ; 
but I '^ish you to reflect on every thing that you want 
for your journey, and communicate to me your wants ; 
because I ^^'ish you to make youi* journey as agi'eeable 
and short as possible." 

I therefore went home, in order to reflect on what I 
should require from his Majesty ; but I had no sooner 
retm-ned to my house, than A5i;o Habti appeared again, 
and informed me that his Majesty had taken a fancy to 
my beautiful rifle gun, presented to me by Capt. Haines; 
and that his Majesty had ordered him to express his 
wish that 1 would leave it with him before I departed. 
I replied, that I had formerly given several handsome 
presents to his Majesty, and could not therefore give 
any more ; that I wanted the gun for myself on my 

N 2 


dangerous journey ; and, besides, I could not part with 
a present whicli I had received from a friend whom I 
valued and respected. I hoped that this reply would 
induce his Majesty to desist from his desire for my 
rifle ; but far from giving up the matter, he carried it 
on so long, that I became tired and disgusted, and 
parted with the beautiful weapon. He sent me a dou- 
ble-barrel flint gun, but so miserably made that I would 
not look upon the messenger who brought it. This he 
requested me to accept instead of the rifle, which, if 
I should lose on the road, would make him very sorry. 
I sent word, that the desire of his Majesty for my 
rifle had made me very sad ; yea, angry with him, at 
the moment of my leaving his country ; that it was a 
bad practice, disgracing his name in my countiy, to 
deprive strangers of the very property which they con- 
sider most valuable ; and that it would be far better for a 
stranger not to bring \Adth him any article of vakie to 
this country, as the people, and especially the king, 
would immediately deprive him of it by means of daily 
increasing petitions of the most annoying and unplea- 
sant kind. 

This strong language, which I was obhged to use, 
had an efi"ect, though only of a temporary nature. He 
sent another messenger, who informed me that the 
King begged me for Christ's and the GospeFs sake, 
not to mention in my country that the King of Shoa 
had endeavoured to deprive me of my property ; and 
that he had only advised me to leave the gun in his 


hands^ lest it might be lost on the road. At the same 
time the messenger hinted to me, that his Majesty had 
intended, if I had not left the country, to invest mc 
with a government. This grant of the royal favom-had 
been thought by the King as a suitable reward 
for the services which I had rendered him during three 
years, particularly since the arrival of the British Em- 
bassy. I answered, that if his jMajesty intended to 
honour me by giving me a government, I felt very 
grateful; but that I did not desire any temporal rank 
or power in his country, my only object being, of which 
he was well aware, to do good to himself and his sub- 
jects, by distributing the Word of God, and by teach- 
ing them the true and right way to their temporal and 
eternal happiness. I also said, that I was quite con- 
tent with the external marks of distinction which the 
King had abeady given me. He had been pleased to 
give me the Shoan silver sword, which placed nie in the 
rank of Governors. 

I had frequent opportunities in the course of this 
day of distributing many copies of the Amharic and 
Ethiopia Scriptures, many Ecclesiastics and other great 
people having flocked to Angollala to join the King on 
his expedition against the Yerrer tribe in the south of 
Shoa. I also again met the messenger of the Abuna 
to the King of Shoa, who was about returning to Gon- 
dar with an answer from his ]\Iajesty. I agreed with 
the messenger, that as soon as I should have taken my 
final leave of the King, I would hasten my march and 


join liim on the road, and go with him to his master at 
Gondar, for whom he had received a Letter and a 
few valuable presents from the British Ambassador, as 
tokens of friendship and respect to the greatest Prelate 
of Abyssinia. I had also given him a copy of the 
iEthiopic New Testament, with a letter, which I had 
written in case I should not be able to go with him. 
But this scheme of my joining the man was afterward, 
from many causes, entirely frustrated. 

All the visitors having withdrawn, I passed the even- 
ing alone, being engaged in thoughts and reflections on 
my approaching long and important journey. Know- 
ing that I was going to countries never before resorted 
to by Europeans, and thinking that unusual dangers 
and hardships would be connected with such a journey, 
I threw myself into the hands of Almighty God, who 
alone could bring my journey to a happy issue, although 
1 was provided with every human means requisite for 
such a hazardous imdertaking. 

March 13, 1842 — After day break a signal was given 
for the departure of his Majesty on his expedition. I 
therefore had no time to lose in acquainting his Majesty 
with my wants, and to take final leave of him. On 
being introduced to him, he repeatedly expressed his 
regret at my leaving him, as he would then have no 
one to advise with in his proceedings with the British 
Embassy. I replied, that I felt grateful for the confi- 
dence he had placed in me ; and that, please God, I 
would make haste on my journey, so as to be able to 


return in October or November. IVitli regard to 
the British Embassy, I acUised him to give decided 
marks of distinction to the Representative of Her Ma- 
jesty, and to listen to all his requests and counsels, as 
they would prove most useful and beneficial to him. 

He then asked about my wants for the jom'ney. I 
only requested a good strong mule, and a man to in- 
troduce me to the Governors as far as his influence ex- 
tended on the road to Gondar. Both requests were 
immediately granted : whereupon he begged me for a 
blessing, which I gave him ; praying that God the 
Almighty King of kings would so dispose his heart, 
that he might seek, before all, the welfare of his own 
soul and the souls of his subjects ; and then, that He 
would inchne him to attempt such temporal improve- 
ments as might become subservient to the eternal hap- 
piness of his people. When I had ended, his Majesty 
said, " Amen ! May God reward you !" I then walked 
away, and he set off on his expedition. 

Having returned to my house, I had once more to 
take leave of those two dear friends whose kindness 
for more than eight months had rendered my stay in 
Shoa agreeable. These friends were. His Excellency 
the British Ambassador, Capt. C. W. Harris, and his 
assistant officer, Capt. D. Graham. I had taken leave 
of the other members of the Embassy at Ankobar the 
day before yesterday. We bid farewell with mutual 
feelings of gratitude for the kindness and assistance 
which we had rendered each other in a foreign and 
uncivilized country. 


Having settled every thing necessary, I set out from 
Angollala about ten o'clock, moving ENE. toward 
Debra Berlian, the King's third favourite place of re- 
sidence, about seven miles distant from Angollala. The 
road led over a level country, which is peculiar to the 
territories of the Galla tribes in the south of Shoa, as 
I have remarked in my former descriptions of the Galla 
countries. Small hills generally rise at the extremi- 
ties of these large plains, which are inhabited by im- 
mense herds of cattle ; while the excellent soil of the 
hills is used for cultivating such articles as are requisite 
for the subsistence of man. 

Debra Berhan received its name at the time of Zara- 
Jacob, who is also called Constantine, and who reigned 
over Abyssinia from between a.d. 1430 and 1460. 
When persecuted by the Adels, he took flight to the 
large forest at that time existing on the place where the 
village of Debra Berhan is now built. Being at a loss 
concerning an outlet for his escape, he saw a light 
from heaven showing him a path ; and from this occur- 
ence he called the place Debra Berhan ; i. e. " Hill of 

This fabulous derivation of the name of Debra Ber- 
han, which was given me by a native, differs some- 
what from another tradition which was communicated 
to me by Habta INIichael, his Majesty's principal 
scribe, who stated, that it was written in the famous 
book " Taamera Mariam" — Miracles of the Holy 
Virgin — that, at the time of Zara-Jacob, a blind priest 


defended the doctrine which denies the same worship 
to the Virgin as the Son ; that the party of the priests 
who worshipped Mary as the Son, killed the blind 
priest ; but in sign of his innocency, and his orthodox 
belief, a heavenly light had been seen for thirteen days 
in all the tents of the Emperor and his generals ; and 
that on this account the place had been denominated 
" Hill of Kght." 

As I would not halt at Debra Berhan, I sent my 
compliments to the Alaca of the Church of the Holy 
Trinity. I also sent him a copy of the iEthiopic New 
Testament. He thankfully acknowledged the receipt, 
and wished me a happy journey. He is one of the 
principal leaders of the party in Shoa which denies 
that the human soul has any knowledge in the womb — 
that the Holy Virgin did not die a victim of mankind, 
and should not be worshipped like the Son — and that 
the Son does not praise the Father in His state of ex- 
altation. These are at present the principal Shoan con- 
troversies, which ran so high, that his Majesty thought 
it necessary to interfere, and decide the dispute by his 
royal authority in favour of those who teach the con- 
trary, and who prefer their own conceptions to the 
standard of the Bible. The latter having got the as- 
cendancy in the Shoan Church, expelled the others from 
their ecclesiastical functions. These, however, applied 
to the new Abuna, Abba Salama, who decided in their 
favour, and ordered the King of Shoa to restore tliem 
to their office 3 but the King has not yet obeyed, and 

N 5 


will delay the matter till he is put by the Abuna to 
his last resource. 

Debra Berhau, as I have already stated, is one of the 
favourite places of the King of Shoa, as the plain land 
around is suitable to his desire of daily gallopping his 
favourite horses^ and also for hunting, although there 
is but little game around. The place answers well, too, 
for the number of horses, mules, and cattle, which 
always follow the royal encampments. Debra Berhan 
was conquered by the father of Sahela Selassieh ; but 
settled and secured against the inroads of the Gallas 
by Menelek, which is the family name of Sahela Selas- 
sieh, this being his Christian name. 

Debra Berhan contains a few hundred houses, with 
about a thousand inhabitants. In the south of the 
village the river Beresa runs to the north-west, forming 
a terrace of high cataracts, at a distance of about three 
miles from the village. These cataracts afford one of 
the most beautiful sights to be seen in Shoa. The river 
having first run over the cataracts is carried into a deep 
basin, the banks of which are extremely steep and high. 
There is plenty of wood around this basin. The wood 
is royal pri\ilege, and fifty slaves are daily employed in 
providing wood for his Majesty when he resides at 
Debra Berhan. 

About one o'clock we passed a place, called Bollo 
Workie, where one of the most celebrated markets is 
held on Saturday. It is particularly suitable for buying 
horses, donkeys, cattle, and grain, these articles being 


supplied in abundance by the Galla tribes in the neigh- 
bourhood of Angollala. But money in coin is not 
much used in this market, as the Gallas, being content 
with barter, or at least salt-pieces, which pass as money, 
still have a great aversion to silver money. A dollar 
at Bollo Workie is exchanged for sixteen or eighteen 
pieces of salt ; and consequently for a few pieces less 
than at the market of Alio Amba in the east of Anko- 
bar. The King receives considerable sums from the 
duties paid on articles at the market of Bollo Workie. 
Each article is charged according to its value ; as, for 
instance, he who buys a horse, has to pay half a piece 
of salt to the King. 

The origin of the name of Bollo Workie is undoub- 
tedly from the Galla language, in which Bollo means 
"hole or cave;" and Workie "gold;" conse- 
quently, " cave of gold." This name agrees with the 
general belief and tradition of the Shoans, that in the 
caves at Bollo Workie immense treasm-es of gold have 
been concealed since the times of the ancient Emperors 
of Abyssinia. The Shoans also say, that in one of the 
caves there is a deep lake, which nobody will venture to 
cross, although the gold is concealed beyond it. In 
this lake, according to the general belief of the Abys- 
sinians, devils reside. One day, they say, a splendid 
mule, oiTiamented with gold, and attended by a cat, 
came out from the cave ; but soon disappeared. I 
have no doubt that the market people, who are fond of 
relating and hearing stories for their amusement on 


their long journey, have invented this tale. But while 
the common people have invented this story, the priests, 
who, as may be expected, are not behind in having 
their share in all cases of superstition, discovered a 
Tabot, or Holy Ark, in the cave. It frequently hap- 
pens that the priests, in order to defend a favourite 
idea, pretend to have discovered a Holy Ark in a cave 
in which they have found a piece of parchment, on 
which the Saint, to whom the Tabot is consecrated, 
has written that such or such a doctrine shall be ac- 
cepted or cursed. 'The Abyssinians are never at a loss 
in contriving lies when it suits their purpose. 

Bollo Workie, like Debra Berhan, was formerly in 
possession of the Gallas ; and Tenna Kallo, the Galla 
Chieftain of this district, is not yet forgotten by the 
Shoans, who well remember the number of their fa- 
thers who were killed by Tenna Kallo near Bollo Wor- 
kie and Debra Berhan. The river Beresa was at the 
time of Sahela Selassieh's father the real boundary, 
beyond which the Shoans durst not venture to go, 
without running the danger of being murdered by the 
Gallas, although most of the tribes near the Beresa 
river paid tribute to Shoa ; but the settled boundary 
was the Beresa, as is now the river Tchatsha in the 
south of xingollala. 

Bollo Workie is one of the King's principal pasturages 
for a part of his numerous cattle, in charge of herdmen 
which are called Abellam, from the Amharic verb 


Abella — " he made eat up." His INIajesty has selected 
about twenty or thirty places of this kind in his king- 
dom. He sends to these places all the cattle which he 
receives as tribute, or captm-es on his expeditions 
against the Gallas. Such places as are known to 
me, are — Bollo Workie, Kollo-Berat, Sagalla, Tello- 
agger, Dembaro, Tchcraro, Gosh-meda, Wof-washa, 
Tora-mesk, Kamberrie, Mutti, Gogorre, Sankisa, 
Enghcrma, Dodotie, Arab-ledj, and Saramba. 

About three o'clock we passed a rivulet called Gona- 
gonit, which rises at the foot of the mountain "Wof- 
washa, which is a part of a range of movmtains run- 
ning from south and south-east, to north and 
north-east. It begins in Bulga, and - runs through 
the east of Shoa, Worra Kallo, Ambassel, Yechoo, 
Lasta, as far as Semien. From the point where we 
crossed the Gonagonit, we could look do^^^l into a 
basin of a tremendous depth, like that which I have 
mentioned near Debra Berhan. The Gonagonit forms 
a cataract of about 160 feet, falling into this basin, 
which sends its water to the river Adabui, and then 
runs to the Nile. I have generally observed that 
the rivulets rising in the east of the Shoan moun- 
tains form a high cataract at a certain distance from 
their sources. It cannot be otherwise, because the range 
of mountains on which these rivulets have their gene- 
ral and principal springs is abo\it 9000 or 10,000 
feet above the sea ; while the Nile, in the west of Shoa, 
may be elevated about -1000 feet. Now, as the dis- 


tance between the source and mouth of these rivers 
is only about 180 miles, it is clear that they must 
have a sudden fall at certain points, where nature has 
produced other interesting appearances. Then you 
observe from the point of the cataract, high and steep 
banks of the river for a considerable distance and 
extent. It is a striking fact, that these cataracts, and 
this deep basin-like course of the rivers, are to be 
observed toward Tegulet, the centre of Shoa, where 
geology might be led to interesting inquiries and 

Having crossed the Gonagonit, I was conducted by 
my people to a place where they said that the ocean 
could be seen. When I drew near this curious spot, I 
was not a little struck at observing a chasm of the 
earth, about 200 yards in length, and three feet in 
breadth. The depth must be enormous, as I could 
not hear the noise of stones which I threw down. It 
is natural that the Abyssinians should point to this 
place as the residence of evil spirits, as it is indeed 
a curious one ; but probably there is more truth in 
the report which states, that one day when the Amharas 
persecuted the Gallas, they being unacquainted ^^dth 
the dangerous localities, fell into the chasm and 
perished in great numbers. I believe this may be a 
fact, as the spot does not appear on its surface to be 
particularly dangerous; so that you might approach 
without any apprehension till you fell into the depth 
between the rocks. The place allows a small entrance 


in the north ; but people say that the path is soon 
lost iu the subteiTaneous water. Happily, the general 
road is a little distant from this dangerous spot, or 
else it might prove fatal to many people, especially 
at night. The place is called Tegulet-Wat, which 
means — the devouring depth of Tegidet. 

Soon after we had crossed the Gonagonit, we crossed 
another rivulet called Logheita, where we had a beau- 
tiful view of the hill on which Tegulet, the former 
capital, was built. There is now a ^^llage called 
Etteghe, where I was told, there is such a distant 
view, that the place became an Abyssinian proverb, the 
people saying in an Amharic rhyme : " Etteghe Gondar 
taioo Echeghue," which means : At Etteghe is the 
Echeghue seen at Gondar. 

It has already been mentioned, that the nature of 
the countiy around Tcgulet, which is also the name 
for the whole district or province around, is of a very 
particular kind, forming numerous toiTcnts, with steep 
and high banks, and allowing only a few accessible 
roads for men and animals in ascending the hills, which 
are separated from each other by these tremendous 
toirents. Having taken in view this natural con- 
dition of the country, we can understand why the 
continual efforts of the numerous Galla cavalry, and 
those of the Mahomedans of Adel, were always dis- 
appointed in taking that part of Shoa, and why the 
Christian name could not be exterminated by their 
ferocious hordes. 


About four o'clock we arrived at a village, called 
Logheita, where we intended to pass the night in the 
house of the Checka-shum, Governor of the soil or 
ground, as he is called in the system of Shoan adminis- 
tration. He received me well, having frequently heard 
of me from people of Ankohar. Checka-shum, pro- 
perly speaking, means overseer of the soil or ground. 
He is appointed by the Misleni, or vice-Governor of 
a province, and he must collect the tribute which a 
village owes to the Governor of the pro\dnce. Under 
the Checka-shum is the Amba-llas, who merely ex- 
ecutes the orders of his superior. For instance, if a 
great stranger is quartered in the village, he collects 
the quantity of pro\'isions from the villagers at the 
order of the Checka-shum, which is only then the 
case if the stranger is accompanied or conducted by 
a royal servant, called Afero. If you have such a 
servant with you, the Governors must receive you, and 
provide for your daily wants. Of course, the advan- 
tage is always on the part of the Checka-shum, as he 
can order such a quantity of provisions, that not only 
the stranger, but also his whole household vnll be 
supported for many days. Besides, he always expects 
a present from the stranger. 

Having travelled for three years almost over the 
whole kingdom of Shoa, I must express my entire 
dissatisfaction with this custom. In the* first place, 
it exposes you, in a great measure, to the beggaries of 
the Superior of the village, who will endeavour by 


some means or other to obtain from you as large a pre- 
sent as he can ; and, in the second place, the inhabi- 
tants, who have no share in the present, will become 
disaffected toward the stranger, who eats his bread at 
their expense. In my opinion, it would be better if 
his Majesty ordered his Governors to assist a stranger 
only in providing his own wants at the usual rate of the 
country, because there is no advantage for the tra- 
veller, as he must give presents which exceed the value 
of what the villagers have given him. 

The Checka-shum holds his situation for one year 
only. He pays no tribute during that time ; but 
collects only the tribute of his village. In like manner, 
he is exempted from contributing in the second year 
of his rest, as it is called ; but in the third year he 
must pay like all other \dllager3. The inhabitants 
give him a dinner on every great festival, besides which 
he receives his share on all occasions of great display 
and entertainments. He orders the people to plough, 
build, gather the harvest, &c. He pays twenty pieces 
of rock-salt (equal to one dollar in Shoa) to the Gover- 
nor who appoints him at the rcqviest and choice of 
tlie villagers. 

The village of Logheita — the whole district around 
has the same name — has been so called from Logo, a 
former Chief of the Gallas, who had been in the pos- 
session of this fertile district, till Asfa-Woossen, 
grandfather of the present King, had conquered and 
settled it. Sahela Selassieh has granted the revenues 


of this village to the Alaca Amda-Tzion, who is the 
superior of the convent at Meedak (not far from 
Ankobar to the south-west), and who instructed and 
guarded one of the royal princes. 

In the neighbourhood of the west of the village of 
Logheita is a monastery, consecrated to one of the 
most celebrated Abyssinian Saints, St. Abbo, whose 
anniversary will be to-morrow. This cloister was 
established when the district was still in the hands of 
the Gallas, of whom many were converted to Chris- 
tianity by the friars of the convent ; but this conver- 
sion was of a very superficial nature. Tlie Gallas were 
circumcised, baptized, obliged to fast, and to wear a 
string of silk around their necks in sign of separation 
from Mahomedans and Pagans. 

March 13, 1842 — Before starting I had a conversation 
with the people, who assembled around my tent imme- 
diately after day-break, on the principal topics of the 
Holy Scriptui'cs. I also distributed a few copies of 
the Amharic and iEthiopic New Testament to the 
priests of the village, and to the monks of St. Abbo. 
About seven o'clock we left Logheita in the direc- 
tion NNE. I could not refrain from looking back 
once more on the fertile district of Logheita, this 
being a Bala-Maseno ; i. e. a country which can be 
watered by channels which the inhabitants have made 
in their fields to water them during the dry season. 
Irrigation is not uncommon in Abyssinia. They 


of course increase the value of the laud with its pro- 

About eight o^clock we travelled through the dis- 
trict Hoolat-Dech (two doors), which name alludes to 
the two gates or principal ways which you can take in 
going to Zalla-Dengai and the provinces beyond. The 
district of Hoolat-Dech is very rocky and hilly. On 
the left of our road was Negarit-Bar, a small lake at 
the foot of hills. The name of the lake is taken 
from the Amharic " Negarit," which signifies a drum, 
as the Shoans superstitiously believe that evil spirits 
have been heard beating a drum in this lake. A 
priest of a neighbouring village, who accompanied me 
for a considerable distance on the road, led the con- 
versation to this subject. He asserted that lakes are 
the general assembling places of evil spirits. I said, 
that he was not right according to the Scriptures in 
placing evil spirits in lakes, as hell fire was stated 
as the place of devils and all sinful creatures. Their 
residence, I said, in lakes on earth would afford them 
a considerable degree of ease and rest from the tor- 
ments which God in His justice had sent upon them on 
account of their transgressions — that Mark v. 13, 
on which passage his opinion was founded, had a particu- 
lar purpose, from which we are not entitled to draw the 
conclusion that unclean spirits reside in lakes — that 
unclean spirits, according to the Scriptiircs, have only two 
places of residence ; namely, in hell fire, and in the hu- 
man heart; and therefore, instead of searchingaftcrtheevil 


spirits in lakes, wc should do better if we inquired 
after their residence in the very centre of our thoughts, 
words, and deeds — and that it would be better if we were 
to draw near our Saviour in humble prayer and faith, 
and beg Him to cast out the unclean spirits of oui" 
lusts and worldly desires, lest they should lead us to 
that hell fire which burns from all eternity. Finally, 
I admonished the ignorant priest to read the pure 
Word of God contained in the Old and New Testament, 
to imprint it on his mind in prayer and faith, and then 
to teach it to his countrymen. 

About nine o'clock we crossed the river Goodo- 
Berat, which rises in the famous range of mountains 
which I have before mentioned. It runs to the river 
Adabui in the west, to which river forty-four rivulets 
are said to pay their tribute of water. But this is 
evidently an imitation of the number of the forty-four 
Churches of Gondar. In the same manner the Shoans 
say, that in proceeding from the coast of Massowah 
forty-four rivers must be crossed before you reach Shoa. 
If we count every rivulet, I should think that this 
account would come short of the number of rivers. 
The river Goodo-Berat has its name from a powerful 
Galla Chieftain, who, in connexion with Amdich, 
Mei'kurri, Woldab, and other less influential Chiefs, 
had taken possession of the countries around, after 
Gragne had desolated this territory. 

On enquiring about what the people knew of the 
origin of the Gallas, I learned that three sons of a 


man, whose name they could not tell mc, had given 
rise to all the Galla tribes around Shoa. One of these 
sons, Karaioo, took possession of the country in the 
east of the before mentioned range of mountains ; and 
also possessed himself of Tarmabar, a principal peak 
of this mountain range. Hence the descendants of 
Karaioo, who were then divided into several other 
tribes, possessed all the countries in the east and 
north-east of x\nkobar as far as the territories of the 
Adels, or Danakils. They consequently possessed the 
lower countries, which are comprised under the general 
name of Argobba, in the east of Efat. It is a fact, 
that to this day a tribe called Karaioo, still exists in 
the south-east of Ankobar. Another son, called 
Toolom, went over the range and possessed himself of 
all the countries in the west to the river Hawash in 
the south, and to the Nile in the west. The third 
son, called Wollo, conquered the countries in the north 
of Shoa, and became the general Chief of the seven 
houses of the Wollo Gallas, of whom I shall speak in 
the course of my journal. 

About twelve o'clock we passed through the district 
called Beshkatie ; i. e. It disgusts me. The origin of 
this strange name is stated as follows : — A Governor, 
called Tofich, brought such an abundance of honey as 
tribute to the King Asfa-Woossen, grandfather of 
Sahela Sclassieh, that the King exclaimed, "The 
abundance of honey which that district ])roduccs dis- 
gusts mc," or more verbally, " stinks before me." 


The road of Beshkatie led us to the district of 
Rodas, which received its name from one of the eight 
sons of Ali, a Mahomedan, who took possession of the 
country around at the time of Gragne, in whose in- 
terest it was to introduce people of his religion into 
the country. When Ali died, his eight sons, of whom 
Rodas, Sadekas, and Jonas, particularly distinguished 
themselves, possessed the district till they were all killed 
by the intruding Gallas, who availed themselves of the 
desolation which Gragne had caused in Abyssinia ; a 
circumstance which reminds us of Joel i. 4. That 
ivhich the palmer loorm hath left, hath the locust 
eaten, S^c. 

Oui- road then led us to Maskalie Ghedam which 
means, " My cross is a convent." Though the monas- 
tery was close to the way side, yet I had no time to 
halt and take leave of Alaca Woldab, who has 
been a friend of mine for some time. However, I 
sent him a copy of the ^thiopic New Testament, for 
which he had expressed a desire whenever he had seen 
me at Ankobar. He is one of those Ecclesiastics who 
use the Amharic Bible in teaching their pupils. Tlie 
reason why I could not halt was, because I had no 
time to lose, as I wished before evening to reach Zalla- 
Dengai, where the Queen-Dowager resides. A travel- 
ler in Abyssinia must always bear in mind, that he 
must arrive in due time at the Governors with whom 
he intends to pass the night, in order that the requi- 
site preparations may be made before night fall. An 


error of this kind is always blamed by the people, and 
it puts the traveller, as well as his host, to great incon- 
veniences, as the villagers not being aware in due time 
of the arrival of a stranger, are therefore unprepared. 
In general, the Abyssinians have a dislike against all 
night-work, as they go early to bed, in order to get up 
before or at day -break. 

The nearer we approached Zalla-Dengai, the more 
the large and plain province of Mans was presented 
to om- view. The people of Mans, of whom I shall 
speak more fully afterward, have the character of being- 
brave, daring, and ignorant — a character which seems 
to me to have been given them with some reason, as 
I shall state hereafter. They are principally engaged 
in breeding sheep, the colour of which is very 
dark ; a circumstance which shows that the pro- 
vince of ]\Ians must be high land, as the black hair 
protects the sheep better against the cold. The Man- 
sians use this black wool for weaving cloth, which 
they call Sekdat ; and it must be remarked, that this 
kind of di'css at once distinguishes a Mansian from 
the other Shoans, who wear clothes woven of cotton, 
which is cultivated in large quantities in the lower 
countries, and which is generally of a good and silky 

Upon inquiring after the boundaries and extent of 
Mans, I had the satisfaction of being led to a result 
which I could never obtain before, although I had for 
the last three years inquired on every opportunity about 


the geographical division of the different provinces of 
the kingdom of Shoa. It may therefore be imagined 
how much I was dehghtcd with obtaining information 
on a subject which had puzzled me for several years, 
and which is so important in sketching a correct map 
of the country. I will state what I have learned from 
good authority. 

1. The most southern province of Shoa, inhabited 
chiefly by Christians, is the province of Menchar. Its 
noi'thern boundary is the river Kassam, and its southern 
frontier is Mount Bokan. Menchar is on the way to 
the Hawash in the south, and to the countries of 
Gurague, Cambat, and Sentshiro. 

2. The province of Bulga (Bidga and Menchar 
together were formerly called Fatagar) is bordered, on 
the south, by the river Kassam ; and on the north by 
the river Kabani, which runs to the Adel country to- 
ward the Hawash. 

3. The province of Efat begins with the northern 
banks of the river Kabani, and extends as far as the 
river Robi, which rises in the Tarmabar range of moun- 
tains, and runs to the Adel country. 

4. In the north of the river Robi begins the pro- 
vince of Gheddem, which is bounded by the province 
of Efrata in the north. Efrata is bordered on the 
north by the river Berkona, which separates the Shoan 
dominions from those of the Mahomedan ruler of 
AVorra Kallo and Argobba. It must be remarked, that 
this is another Argobba, not belonging to tJie King of 


Slioa. The name " Argobba '' is given by the Adds 
to all the lower countries where cotton is cultivated. 
Thus you hear of an Argobba belonging to Sahela 
Selassieh, and another belonging to the ruler of Worra 
Kallo. It must also be remarked, that the Adels 
generally call the King of Shoa only King of Efat, as 
this pro^^nce is bounded by their own country ; while 
the people of jSTorthern Abyssinia call him the King of 
Shoa, this being nearer to them. In like manner, the 
Gallas in the south always call him the King of Efat, 
as the Shoan power undertook its first military opera- 
tions against the southern tribes by starting from Efat ; 
and as in fact most of the Shoan forces which fight 
against the Gallas are composed of Efatian soldiers. 
These remarks will preserve the Geographer from con- 
founding what is so clear, if he has compared the 
different reports of the natives of the country, and the 
countries around. 

5. The pro\TLnce of Tegulet has its boundary from 
the river Beresa, near Debra Berhan, and from the 
river Tchatcha, near Angollala, and extends to the river 
j\Iofer in the north. This province forms the principal 
part of Shoa, and is situated exactly in the centre of 
the whole Shoan kingdom. 

6. The province of Mans begins with the river 
Mofer in the north of Tegulet, and extends as far as 
the river Katchenee in the north. 

7. With the Katchenee river begins the province 
of Geshe, which is bounded in the north by the river 



Woait^ which separates the Shoan dominions in the 
north-west from the different Wollo Galla tribes. 

8. Between Shoa Meda and the river Jamma in the 
south-west is the province of Morat ; and between the 
rivers Jamma and Wonshit is the province of ]\Iora- 
bietie in the north-west. 

9. Shoa Meda is a plain or level country of con- 
siderable extent ; but it is possessed by tributary pagan 
Gallas, many villages of whom however have been 
lately converted to Christianity by the orders of the 
King of Shoa, who commanded them to be circum- 
cised, to be baptized, to fast, to wear a string of 
silk around the neck, and not to eat with Mahomedans 
or Pagans. 

All the country from Shoa to the H awash in the 
south is inhabited by Pagan Gallas, of whom I have 
given a description in my former journals. They are 
all subjected to the sway of Shoa. The Mahomedans, 
who are under the Government of Shoa, reside in the 
eastern parts of the kingdom, in Argobba, toward 
the Adel country. 

After four o'clock we arrived at Zalla-Dengai, where 
Zenama-Work, the mother of Sahela Selassieh, resides. . 
Before we reached the place, I saw on the road a hill, 
on which I was told that the present King was edu- 
cated and guarded by the Alaca Woldab, who is not to 
be confounded with the same name mentioned before. 
It is a pretty little square hill, on which his royal 
highness had a beautiful \iew of the country around. 


and on which many ideas and future schemes may have 
been raised and planned in his mind. 

On arriving at the foot of the hill on which the 
houses of Zenama-Workj the Queen-Dowager, are 
built, we were stopt a few minutes and asked who we 
were, and from whence we had come. Having given 
a satisfactory answer to these questions, we were 
permitted to walk up the hill, when the gates of the 
outer wall were immediately opened. Having reached 
the outside of the court-yard, I was ordered by the 
Dech-agafari — the introducer through the gates — to 
sit dovra on a red skin which had been spread out be- 
fore me. A messenger was then dispatched with my 
compliments to the royal lady, who as soon as she heard 
of my arrival, sent word that she would be glad to sec 
the man of whom she had heard much for several years; 
but that, as it was already late, she could not see me 
then, but would call me to-morrow morning. I was 
then conducted to a house, which I was to occupy 
during my stay at Zalla-Dengai. But I preferred to 
pitch my tent for many reasons. Two large pitchers 
of hydromel, two jars of beer, a sheep, fowls, eggs, 
bread, a jar of honey, and many other things were then 
presented in such an abundance, that I was obliged to 
send back the greater part of them, lest my })cople 
should commit any excess in enjoying the hospitality of 
our hostess. Servants were also sent and ordered to 
attend and provide me with whatever I should require. 

March 1 1, 18 12 — Having expressed my wish to depart 
o 2 


early, I was called by the Queeu-Dowager to see her, 
and at the same time to bid her farewell. I wore my 
European di'ess and the silver sword which her royal 
son had given me with the request to wear it on all 
occasions of state. I was introduced through fom- or 
five gates, till the Dech-agafari at last conducted me to 
a small but nice looking room, in which the old lady 
was sitting on a bedstead covered wdth a carpet of dif- 
ferent coloui's. A great number of female servants, 
mostly slave girls, stood on the left and right of the 
lady ; while her male servants, priests, and counsellors, 
stood at some distance from her. The attendants of 
both sexes were well dressed ; and when I entered they 
talked with their mistress in a familiar and easy manner. 
The lady wore a large white Abyssinian dress, with very 
few other marks of distinction. Though about sixty 
years of age, she still appeared young and lively; and 
although she is, except her royal son, the most influen- 
tial person in the kingdom, and governs nearly the 
half of Shoa in a very independent manner, yet she 
shows less of the stiffness observable in other Abys- 
sinian ladies of a much inferior rank. She appears to 
be a person of high attainments, in the Abyssinian 
manner, and quite qualified for the situation which she 
holds in the Shoan affaii's, and seems to deserve the 
attachment and respect which her subjects as well 
as her royal son himself pay to her. 

Having paid my respects to her, I presented her with 
a few presents, consisting of a coloured shawl, a pair 


of English scissors, a looking-glass, and a copy of the 
^thiopic New Testament and Amharic Old Testament. 
She was extremely grateful, and several times repeated, 
" May God reward you ! " She was particularly pleased 
with the Holy Scriptures; and although the other 
things attracted her attention, yet the Word of God 
seemed to afford her the greatest satisfaction. I had 
heard at Ankobar that she had bought many of the 
books which I had given the people, and that she had 
distributed them to her priests. From what I have 
seen, this report may be quite correct. She had 
several times intended to enter a nunneiy, partly 
from religious motives, and partly from weariness of 
her temporal business. 3Iay she find, under the Divine 
assistance, in the "Word of God, the true way to her 
eternal welfare and hai)piness ! 

Having accepted my little presents, she expressed 
her satisfaction at having become acquainted with the 
man of whom she had heard much for the last three 
years. She then asked why I was leaving the country; 
whether I should return to Shoa ; and whether those 
gentlemen, who had lately brought such valuable pre- 
sents to her son, belonged to my nation. She also 
asked, by what means my countrjTnen had advanced so 
far in manufacturing the most wonderful things. I 
replied, that God had said in His Word, Them that 
honour me I will honour ; and that if we like His holy 
Word, He will not only give us spiritual and eternal 
blessings for our souls, but will also give us wisdom and 


understanding m temporal affairs, according to the 
promise of our Saviour, Matt. vi. 33. 

She then resumed the matter of the presents which 
Her Majesty had sent to the King of Shoa. She ex- 
claimed more than once : " What astonishing things 
have we seen in the time of Sahela Selassieh ! For- 
merly, we only heard of these things and of your White 
people; but now we have seen with our eyes and believe 
what we were told.^^ I said, that they would see still 
more astonishing things if Sahela Selassieh, following 
the example of the enlightened Sovereigns of the White 
people, would go on in improving the moral and tem- 
poral condition of his subjects. 

Having already laid claim too long to the time of the 
royal lady, I thought it proper to discontinue the con- 
versation. Thanking her for the attention and hospi- 
tality with which I had been honoured since my arrival, 
I left the room, when she wished me a happy journey, 
and promised to send one of her servants with me, to 
introduce me to Ayto Habta Michael, the Governor of 
Geshe, on the northern frontier of Shoa. I had now 
been in the zenith of honour, happiness, and external 
abundance ; but on leaving Zalla-Dengai I had to con- 
tend with many difficulties and dangers, as will be seen 
in the course of my journey. 

The origin of the name Zalla-Dengai is reported in 
the following manner. — Formerly there was a large stone 
on the top of the hill where Zenama-Work resides. Bad 
people were sitting one day on the stone, engaged in 

THE queen-dowager's ESTABLISHMENT. 295 

telling lies, and in contmdng tricks against their fellow- 
creatui'es ; when, on a sudden, the stone moved and 
rolled down into the deep torrent, which runs in the 
east of Zalla-Dengai toward the river Mofer. The 
people were killed; and that others should take their 
example for a warning, the place was called Zalla-Dengai, 
which means verbally " the jumping stone." My former 
way of WTiting Selat Dengai would imply the meaning 
" sharp stone," and must therefore be corrected, 

I felt an intense coldness at Zalla-Dengai, and the 
lady several times asked me whether it was so cold in 
my country. The whole establishment of Zenama- 
Work is arranged according to the model of the King, 
only on a smaller scale. Her house is surrounded with 
several walls, and you have to walk through many gates. 
In the centre is a court-j^ard, which however is not equal 
in extent to that at Ankobar. In the eastern fi'ont of 
this com*t-yard is a place of eminence, where the lady 
gives judgment to her subjects, as Sahcla Selassieh does 
at Ankobar. Another large room has been selected as 
the dining-room for her governors and soldiers. The 
superiority of her son consists in the following. — Each 
subject of Zenama-Work can apply to the King for 
justice, if her decision does not give satisfaction. She 
appoints her own governors ; but always with the ratifi- 
cation or approbation of his Majesty. She never un- 
dertakes an expedition ; but she is bound to send a 
contingent to the royal army. She must always keep 
her son in good humour, by sending presents from time 


to time, particularly of such articles as please him ; in 
return for which he sends her other pleasing things. 
Zenama-Work has great influence with her son, and 
she has sometimes ventured either to dissuade him from 
an undertaking, or to counteract his schemes, without 
having been resented by the despotic Monarch. She 
often intercedes with him for persons who have been 
disgi-aced by his Majesty, who esteems her so much, 
that he fi-equently swears by her name ; and when he 
appears before her, he takes off his cloth to the loins, 
just as his subjects do when they appear in his presence. 
His Majesty is well aware of the great advantages 
afforded to him by the female government and influence 
of his mother. She is a native of the province of 
Mans, and is the daughter of one of the former inde- 
pendent rulers of that countiy. On this account, the 
Mansians are more attached to her than to the King 
himself, whom they scarcely know and acknowledge. 
The Mansians being an obstinate set of people, would 
cause many distm'bances to his Majesty, if he could 
not govern them through his mother. Besides, he 
finds it convenient to throw every thing on his mother, 
who sometimes dissuades or encom'ages him either to 
leave off an undertaking, or to execute a scheme. Fur- 
thermore, it is pecuhar to the Abyssinian character 
to act through a mediator or intercessor. The 
greater the power and rank of the person is, the 
greater his mediator must be. I have frequently 
heard in Shoa, that the people compared Zenama- 


Work, the Queen-Dowager, with the Holy Virgin, 
who is on the same terms with Christ, her son, 
on which Zenama-Work is mth her son, Sahela Selas- 

The village of Zalla-Dengai is not very large, and 
probably contains only the thii-d part of the houses and 
inhabitants of Ankobar. The hill presents an exten- 
sive and pretty view of the countries around, which 
are well cultivated, particularly with barley ; but the 
north and east of Zalla-Dengai presents a rocky and 
fertile appearance for several miles. 

Having retm-ned from my visit to Zenama-Work, I 
distributed a few copies of Amharic and ^thiopic 
Scriptui-es, and about eight o'clock a.m. we left Zalla- 
Dengai, We descended considerably for about half an 
horn-, leaving to oui- left Koorra-Gadel, which is an ex- 
tremely steep hill. I was told that Sahela Selassieh had 
been instructed there for some time in the chiu'ch of 
the Holy Trinity, which is built on the top ; and hence 
his Majesty has taken the habit of swearing by the 
Church of the Holy Trinity in Koorra-Gadel. If he 
has once sworn by that place, no alteration of the royal 
mind can be expected in whatever matter it may be. 
To the east we had the hill and district of Wodera, the 
produce of which is divided between the King and his 
mothtr, she taking the wood, which is very rare around 
Zalla-Dengai, and the King claiming the grass places 
for his cattle. Wodera and the country around was 
formerly in the hands of three Galla Chieftains; viz. 

O 5 


Hamte^ Berre^ and HoolosfFe, until the Efatian Kings 
Ymmaha-Yasoos and Asfa-Woosseu turned them out 
of their possessions. Hamte displayed such bravery in 
war, that Asfa-Woosen himself respected him. 

About ten o'clock we crossed the river Mofer on its 
junction with a torrent called Kaskash, which rises at 
the foot of Wof-Washa. The latter is the name of a 
part of the range of mountains which I have several 
times mentioned. The water of the river Mofer comes 
from Gooasa, which is a part of the Tarmabar range. 
The river IMofer runs in a westerly direction, and joins 
the river Jamma, which falls into the Adabai, and this 
into the Nile. The Mofer separates the provinces of 
Tegulet and Mans, as above stated. It is about twenty- 
five feet in breadth at the place where I crossed it. Its 
banks are extremely steep, according to the general 
nature of the Abyssinian rivers and rivulets. It carries 
water to the Jamma during the whole year, and receives 
many tributary rivulets. 

Having crossed the Mofer, we had to ascend for a con- 
siderable time. The ascent was so steep and rocky, that 
we were compelled to unload our animals, and the men 
carried the baggage on their shoulders for some distance. 
Having reached the top, we saw before us an immense 
plain, intersected only by small hills. We had a beau- 
tiful view of the countries which we had traversed the 
preceding days. But we found the Mansian climate 
very cold ; and the wind also blew strongly from the 
east. Our general direction was south-south-west, 


sometimes entii'ely north. The cold cHmate of Mans 
renders the black cloth made of wool indispensably 

Mans is the largest pro\ince of the Shoan domini- 
ons ; but the Mansians endeavoiu* by all means to 
keep up their independence of old. They pay, how- 
ever, great respect to the Queen-Dowager, who consi- 
ders theii' country her hereditary government. The 
Mansians pay very little tribute to the Shoan crown. I 
was told that ten families only pay the tribute of one 
sheep in the course of a year. The principal tribute 
which is required from Mans, consists in providing 
Sekdat, or black cloth, which I have mentioned 
before, for the royal wants. His ^lajesty uses this 
black stuiF for his tents, or for charity to poor people. 

INlans was entirely independent of Shoa at the time 
of Ghera, who governed Mans, when Negassi, the first 
Shoan King, made himself independent of the Go- 
vernment of Gondar. The son of Ghera was Kedami, 
who had a son called Hiskias. He had a son called 
Gole, who was engaged in war with Abie, the King of 
Efat. Gole was defeated, and Mans became connected 
with the kingdom of Shoa. The daughter of Gole was 
Wolansa, the mother of Zenama-Work, who is the 
mother of the present King of Shoa. Hence the 
attachment which the Mansians entertain toward the 
Queen Dowager. 

• The province of Mans is divided into three parts : 
Mamma, Lalo, and Ghera. Each part has its own 


Governor ; but I shall speak of this hereafter. At 
present I will only mention the genealogies of those 
rulers who formerly possessed independent provinces 
and governments, until they were united to the Shoan 

1. Demetrios was the ruler of the province of 
Morabietie. He was succeeded by his son Woldoo, 
whose son was Dechen. At the time of Dechcn the 
province of Morabietie was united to Shoa. The 
daughter of Dechen is Besabesh, the present head-wife 
or queen. 

2. Masamer governed the province of Morat. He 
was succeeded by his son Esaias, whose son was Abisa. 
The son of Abisa was Tzeddoo, whose son was Hailoo. 
At his time Morat was conquered by Asfa-Woossen. 
Sahela Selassieh has left the issue of these little kings 
in the possession of their paternal and hereditary go- 
vernment. He was content A^dth their acknowledg- 
ment of his royal superiority, and with an annual tri- 
bute ; but his Majesty has lately abrogated this here- 
ditary system in Morat in consequence of a fault which 
Ay to Shunkor, a descendant of the old family, had com- 
mitted against him. Most probably the judicious 
monarch only waits for an opportunity of doing away 
with all hereditary governments in his kingdom. 

3. The hereditary Galla Governors in Shoa Meda 
are: Ero; Tooloo.his son; andWodach, at present Ayto 
Organon, who is in great favom* with his IMajesty. He 
turned a Christian a few years ago, the King himself 


being his godfather, as is usual when influential Gallas 
adopt Christianity. 

4. In the province of Geshe ruled the descendants 
of Ausabie. 

5. In Gheddem ruled the issue of Yelala and Boroo ; 
in Anzokia, the children of Sarnie ; and in Efrata the 
children of Waldo Gucbru. Only in the province of 
Boolga no lineal succession was kept up, nor had his 
Majesty any regard for the issue of former influential 
families in his appointing the Governors of Bulga. It 
is considered as the country which the Efatian Kings 
have taken with their shield or military forces. 

The Mansians have the character of being brave, 
quarrelsome, inhospitable, ignorant, and haughty. 
This character is pretty correct and true. 

With regard to their bravery, I cannot judge from 
my own experience ; but I am told, that, when Ayto 
Medoko, a very brave Efatian Governor, had raised a 
rebellion against his Majesty about five years ago, and 
the King was in great distress, he sent a message to the 
Mansians, saying, — " My brothers, my relations, come 
and help me," the INIansians appeared in great num- 
bers and decided the royal victory over the rebel. But 
this was the first time that they went on an expedition 
with the King. Those who go annually to war with 
his Majesty are merely volunteers, and are not numer- 

Concerning the quarrelsomeness of the Mansians, it 
must be stated, that as no strong royal hand is able to 


govern them^ every trifle causes them to be at variance 
with each other. A little affront^ or a small matter 
that happens on account of the boundaries of their 
fields, raises such animosities between them, that they 
draw their swords and kill one another. These continual 
contests and then- self-interestedness, prevent them 
from hvdng together in one village. Each individual, 
or several families being the issue of a great man, 
build their houses, wherever they find convenient for 
the sake of their property, or for the purpose of more 
easily watching their fields. On this account therefore 
you do not see large villages in Mans. They do not 
fight against a common and general enemy, but only 
against each other ; and therefore they say, " We will 
not fight against the Gallas, who do us no harm ; but 
we fight among ourselves." On this account they 
refuse to go on the King's annual expeditions against 
the southern Gallas. It has fi'equently happened, that 
they have killed their own governors, or that they have 
imprisoned or insulted them, if they ventured to restrain 
theii' independence and spirit of liberty. His Majesty 
cares little for this, as he dare not ventm-e to in- 
crease their dissatisfaction with him. Occasionally he 
bums the houses of the most obstinate people ; but 
this will not always answer. In short, his power and 
influence in that part of his dominions is very limited 
and loose. The Mansians openly declare, " We know 
little about Sahela Selassieh." Nobody would venture 
to say so in Efat. His Majesty well aware of his 



little influence in ]Mans, endeavours to cover his weak- 
nessj by saving that he does not require much from 
the JNIansians, as they are his relations, his mother being 
a Mansian, as we have seen above. 

AVith respect to the inhospitability of the Mansians, 
I can judge from my own experience. Although I had 
a man from the King, and another from Zenama-Work 
with me ; and although I offered money and pajTiient, 
yet the pettiest Governor of a hamlet would not allow me 
to pass the night in his house, nor pro\-ide me with 
what I wanted. He knew that I had royal messengers 
with me ; but he would not Hsten to them, when they 
requested provisions in the name of the King and 

The Mansians are very ignorant, and on this account 
have become a proverb on the market-place of Bollo- 
Workie. The Gallas say : " ^lansie our Gashie ;" that 
is to say, the 'Nlansian is a blind buyer ; he does not 
look whether the salt-piece is good or bad; whether the 
bullock which he purchases is useful and good for him 
or not. It must be observed, that they have no im- 
portant market-place in their own pro\T.nce, as their 
unprincipled life would raise bloody quarrels on such 
opportunities; and therefore they must go to the markets 
of Bollo-Workie and Geshe. The learned Mansians are 
chiefly engaged in using witchcraft, and are therefore 
feared wherever they go. They pretend to be able to 
charm spirits from the water. They say that the Alaca 
of the evil spirits is in the lake Alobar, which is in Mans. 


These and many other things show that the Mansians 
must be an ignorant people; and that the other Shoans^ 
who call them cows and donkeys on account of their 
ignorance, are nearly right, if they themselves would 
only be better and superior in knowledge and morality. 

About three o'clock we crossed the river Goormengne, 
which runs to the Adabai in the west ; and about half- 
past three we passed the river Sanafil-asfach. The 
meaning of this strange name, which only the Man- 
sians could give, is verbally — He caused the breeches 
to be destroyed. 

The soil of Mans is chiefly black, and principally 
produces barley, wheat, peas, hog's beans, &c. Sheep 
are in abundance, and can be bought for two or three 
pieces of salt. Cotton and pepper cannot be cultivated 
in Mans, being too high and cold a country. \Vlien the 
eastern winds blow over the country, it is so cold that 
you can scarcely believe that you are in the interior of 
Africa. Notmthstanding this cold climate, the fea- 
tures of the Mansians are of a pretty dark, yea, black 
colour. In fact, every thing of theirs is black, as their 
soil, clothes, sheep, cattle, and, above all, their quarrel- 
some mind. They have a great aversion to the white 
clothes of cotton, of which the other Shoans are so 
fond. They use white clothes only as a covering at 
night, or on occasions of state. \^Tien a Mansian 
dies, his white clothes are claimed by the priests, who 
consider themselves the legitimate heirs in this respect. 
As wood in Mans is very rare, they build their houses 


of stones, at least the walls. Tlie interior construction 
of tbeir houses does not look so bad as one would sup- 
pose from the outside appearance of the building. The 
outward shape of their houses is circular, like that of 
the houses of the other Shoans. 

After four o'clock I pitched my tent in a "hamlet, 
called Wokan, in the court-yard of a petty Governor, 
of whom I have made mention above. As I found the 
people so ill disposed toward travellers, I ordered my 
senants to stand sentiy by turns during the night. 
But, above all, I bowed my knees before the almighty 
Shepherd of Israel, who never sleeps nor slumbers, and 
implored His assistance, protection, and blessing upon 
my journey. 

March 15, 1842 — The priest of our host came after 
day-break to beg from me a copy of the iEthiopic New 
Testament, which I gave him. He had yesterday 
spoken to the Governor in our favoui*, and had provided 
us ^N^ith a few provisions. I also presented to him a 
copy of the Heidelberg Catechism in Amharic. As 
he could not at first understand what sort of book this 
was, I availed myself of the delay of our departui'e — 
caused by the intense coldness — to give him verbal ex- 
planations. In a short time many people were assembled 
around us. 

We left Wokan after seven o'clock, and about half- 
past seven crossed the river Rctmat, which is about 
twelve feet in breadth. It has steep banks, and our 
animals could only cross it with difficulty. Its source 


is in the Gooasa range of mountains in the east. It 
had very little water at the present dry season. This 
river separates the district of Mamma from that of 
Lab, on which we had now entered. The western 
bomidary of the district Mamma is the river Adabai, 
and the* eastern frontier is Kaot. The present Gover- 
nor of Mamma is Ayto Gadeloo, to whom the King 
has married one of his numerous daughters. The dis- 
trict of Lalo is bounded in the north by the river 
Aftanat, in the west by the province of Morabietie, and 
on the east by Gheddem. It is divided into Lalo and 
Igam. The people of both districts are in perpetual 
feu.ds with each other ; and last year in an engagement 
about thirty men were killed on both sides. Lalo 
is not so plain as the district of Mamma, which we 
traversed yesterday. Money in coin is but little known 
in Mans, as the IMansians say, " We do not heap up 
dollars as the Efatians do: we heap up salt-pieces 
and ploughs, which we bmy." The more a man has of 
buried plough-shares, the richer he appears in the eyes 
of his coimtrymen. The Mansians seldom appear with 
spears on the road, instead of which they use big sticks 
on their jom-ney ; and with these they beat on soundly, 
when they dispute on the road. 

About nine o'clock we crossed the river Igam, which 
had however but little water at this season. I was 
struck at observing all the houses built at the foot of 
steep hills, sm-rounding the hamlets like natural walls. 
The reason of this must be the coldness of the climate 


and their perpetual feuds. Behind these fortifications 
of hills they can defend themselves ; and besides, they 
are secured against the blowing of cold and violent winds. 

About ten o'clock we crossed the river Aftanat, to 
the bed of which we had to descend about a thou- 
sand feet. The breadth of the river was about fifteen 
feet. It carries down to the west a larger quantity of 
water than the river Igam mentioned above. Having 
crossed the Aftanat I saw, for the fii'st time, the large 
sheep, the skin of which is called Lovisa, and much 
valued by the Abyssinians. It was grazing in the field 
with other sheep. Its black hair was so long that it 
almost touched the ground. This kind of sheep wants 
a cold climate, and will never live in lower and warmer 
regions. Its skin is sold for fifteen or twenty pieces of 
salt, as it is seldom found, and much demanded by war- 
riors. I shall speak about this sheep at large, when 
describing the country of the AVollo Gallas. 

About eleven o'clock we saw, on the west of our 
route, down into a large and deep basin, in which the 
rivers Igam and Aftanat and several others join and 
form one river, known under the general name of 
Ghirid, which joins the river Jamma, near the village 
Kum Dengai in Shoa ]\Ieda. The ]\Iansians take re- 
fuge to this basin when they are attacked by a prevail- 
ing enemy, who cannot persecute them so far, as there 
is only one steep descent, which they can easily 
defend against an enemy. 

About twelve o'clock we passed the river Hoolladcha, 


and half an hour afterward the river Ghedambo^ which 
forms the boundary between the district of Lalo and 
Ghera. The country from the river Ghedambo to 
Agancha belongs hereditarily to the Queen-Dowager. 
Agancha is a small district in the larger district of 
Ghera, which belongs at the same time to Sahela Selas- 
sieh, first, on account of his mother Zenama-Work; 
and, secondly, on account of his forefather Negassi, the 
first Shoan King, whose residence was in Agancha, 
from which he went conquering to Tarmabar and fur- 
ther to the south-east of Efat, to Aramba and Ankobar. 

Having crossed the river Ghedambo, we had a good 
road and the same black soil as yesterday. Our general 
direction was from north-west-west to north-north-east. 
About one o'clock we crossed the river Agancha, from 
which the district around has its name. It is a tribu- 
tary river to the Ghirid, and rises in the mountain 
range which pours out its water over the whole west 
of Shoa. 

Many people followed my little caravan to find pro- 
tection, as they said, in my company on their road to 
Gondar. The greater part of them were going to 
Gondar to receive holy orders from the new Abuna, 
who, I understood, daily ordains about a thousand 
people. The candidates are obliged to be able to read 
the ^thiopic Gospel, and to sing from the book of 
Yared ; and then the Abuna lays his hands on them. 
For this they must pay him one or two pieces of salt. 
But it must be remarked, that nobody can receive 


priests' orders, until his beard lias begun to grow, 
which is considered a sign that the candidate is be- 
tween eighteen or twenty-foui- years of age, as the 
Abyssinians seldom know their age. But the orders 
for deaconship will be given at any time. I saw bands 
of boys, being six or eight years of age. 

About two o'clock wc crossed the river Shai, which, 
I was told, goes through the famous lake Alobar, in 
the west of Mans. Having left this lake, the river is 
called Shimmas, and joins the river Jamma, which I 
have frequently mentioned. The lake, I am told, is 
very large, being about a day's joui-ney in circumfer- 
ence. It was formerly all land, until the Virgin iNIary 
destroyed it hke Sodom and Gomorrah. The tradition 
is, that the Virgin Mary appeared one day in the house 
of a rich and wealthy man, who lived in one of the 
\-illages built on the spot where there is now a lake. 
]\lary, addi'cssing the house-wife of the rich man, said, 
"Give me some grain : I vdW grind flour for wages." 
The lady of the house complied with ]\Iary's request, 
and gave her some grain; but this, in a miracidous 
manner, instantly became meal. The Virgin then 
wanted her wages ; but the rich man refused, saying, 
that she had not ground the meal. Mary brought the 
matter before the judges of the country ; but these de- 
cided in favour of the rich man. At last the Virgin 
applied to the shepherds of the place, who yielded the 
question to her, by saying, that as she was the author 
and beginner of grinding, she could claim her wages 


by right. The Virgin, pleased with this decision, made 
the regulation that shepherds should annually, on the 
festival of Debra-Tabor, and of her anniversary, receive 
from their countrymen large quantities of Dabo — large 
cakes of white Abyssinian bread — as they had done her 
justice. But at the same time she destroyed the villages, 
changing them into a lake like Sodom and Gomorrah, 
which lake is called Alobar, and is, in the opinion of 
the Shoans, the dwelling place of all evil spirits, par- 
ticularly of their Alaca. Therefore, a Shoan, who 
wants to lay claim for having obtained a considerable 
degree of magical knowledge and practice, must have 
gone to school with the Alaca of the spirits in lake 
Alobar in the province of Mans. But the fact is, that 
such a cunning scholar swims several times in diiferent 
directions through the lake, as far inwards as his strength 
will allow him, and with this his lessons are terminated. 
Henceforth he has abundance of customers, who will 
pay any price for his talismanic writings or prayers. 
This impostor is called sometimes by persons from a 
considerable distance in the country, who put confi- 
dence in his charms. And what does he do ? He asks 
every-body at some distance from the place, where he 
is to go ; abovit the character, features, situation, rela- 
tions and connections of the person who has called him. 
Of course he then appears well informed of the circum- 
stances of the person who Mdshes to consult him. This 
deceived person is astonished at the wisdom which the 
impostor displays regarding things which only the 


Alaca of lake Alobar can have communicated to the 
magician, who then receives bullocks, mules, sheep, 
salt pieces, dollars, clothes, &c., in acknowledgment of 
the power of divination, with which he has been endowed 
by the gi'eat lord of Alobar. 

About four o'clock we crossed the river Ghidaot. The 
country around appears to be volcanic, the hills being 
quite bare, and large pieces of rocks have been thrown 
down and scattered over the country. The people 
pointed out a steep hill, on the foot of which a Tzabale 
was said to exist. Tzabale means such springs, the 
water of which has been blessed by an Abyssinian 
saint, and will therefore cure all sorts of diseases, even 
those which human skill is unable to heal. The Tzabale 
near the river Ghidaot, is ascribed to the blessing of the 
Saint Guebra Manfos Kedos, at whose anniversary this 
spring is considered as gifted mth a particular sanative 
power. The priests prevent the people from using the 
water at any other time, except at the anniversary of 
Guebra Manfos Kedos. It cannot be questioned that 
there are some mineral waters in Shoa, which have, in 
some cases, produced a very extraordinary effect ; but 
notwithstanding they must be governed by the same 
physical laws which we find in the mineral wells of all 
other countries. 

On the banks of the river Ghidaot I saw, for the first 
time, that kind of yellow thorn, the root of which is 
used in manufacturing yellow cloth, which they 
call Woiba, and which is worn by monks and by 


people who are in great distress. Instead of this root, 
they also use the bark of a tree, called Woiba. The 
root or bark is boiled in hot watei', together with the 
thread, which is then exposed to the sun. 

After five o'clock we arrived in the village of Amad- 
Washa, the name of which is taken from the soil, which 
resembles ashes. The Governor is under the special 
command of the Queen-Dowager; but notwithstanding 
he would not receive us at first. But some hard words 
made the man very smooth and civil. The first King 
of Efat is reported to have been born in Amad-Washa. 
Faris, the King of Gondar, who resided for some time 
at Dair, a stronghold in the neighbourhood of Amad- 
Washa, had a daughter of the name Sanbalt, who was 
married to a Governor, by whom she had a son called 
Negassi. This was the first Shoan King, who governed 
first the district of Agaucha, of which Amad-Washa 
was the capital at that time. Faris retm'uedto Gondar, 
while Negassi his grandchild, having made himself in- 
dependent of him, prosecuted other schemes by taking 
from the Gallas the countries of Ajabar, Tarmabar, and 
the places around. His successors increased their 
dominions in the same way of conquest, by defeating 
and expelling the Gallas, and by uniting other Chris- 
tian provinces, which w^re at that time almost indepen- 
dent of Gondar. Thus, if this account is correct, the 
descent of the Shoan Kings from the royal blood of 
the ancient line of the Abyssinian Kings is incontesta- 
ble. Certain it is, that Sahela Selassieh considers 


Agancha his hereditary portion on account of his an- 
cestor Negassi. 

March \Q, 1842 — Before starting, I distributed a few 
copies of the Amharic Scriptures among the priests of 
the village. They accepted them with many thanks, 
and made no objection against their being in Amharic. 
On a strict inquiry, I found that very few copies of our 
Amharic Bibles had reached these distant districts of 
the Shoan realm ; and I determined to send a supply 
hither, on my return to Ankobar. 

About seven o'clock we started from Amad-Washa, 
accompanied by the son of the Governor. He showed 
me, on the road, the Church of the Four Animals — Arrat 
Ensesa — an appellation which alludes, beyond all doubt, 
to the four animals of Ezekiel i. About nine o'clock 
we began to descend into a defile, amidst the greatest 
difficulties. On descending, we found a spring of very 
delicious water. AVhen I approached to refi'esh myself, 
I was told that it was a Tzabale, or holy spring, which 
you can only enjoy on the Anniversary of the Saint 
who has blessed the water. I was also told, that, on 
this account, a large serpent watched in the inside of 
the spring, and bit all those who drank of the water at 
an improper time. I replied, that I did not care for 
any contrivances of the monks or priests in order to 
mislead the ignorant, and took a good draught of the 
water. I then asked the frightened bystanders why 
the serpent had not bit me. They had nothing more 
to say, than that the serpent would not bite good people. 



The banks of this defile are so steep and high, that 
the natives would be able, by throwing stones upon 
the invaders, to check a whole army. I can now con- 
ceive why his Majesty has so little fear of any enemy 
approaching from the north of his territories. As 
this is the principal pass and entrance into the centre 
of Shoa, and as this defile is almost impassable, at 
least for any Abyssinian army in the present state of 
military system, the King has really nothing to fear 
so long as the Governor of Dair is attached to his 

Having descended about 3000 feet, we arrived at 
the bed of the river Katchenee, which separates the 
province of Mans from that of Geshe. This river 
rises near Aiamsa in the Annas mountains, in the 
north-east of Shoa. The Katchenee is afterward 
called Wonshit, which falls into the Jamma, that 
famous river so frequently mentioned. The whole 
bed of the Katchenee, from one bank to the other, is 
about eighty feet in breadth ; but the real bed of the 
stream is only about twenty-five feet, the whole bed 
being only full during the rainy season. In this bed, I 
found the Thermometer, about mid-day, 90° Farenheit 
in the shade. The place where we crossed is frequently 
endangered by the Wollo Gallas, who being close on 
the opposite side of the river, follow its bed to this 
passage, where they plunder travellers, particularly in 
the evening. The Katchenee is joined below by the 
rivers Ketama and Woia, which come from the north 

• / 
ARRIVE AT DAIR. \~ 4,'^^ I. "' 315 

of Shoa. The junction takes places in the north- 
west of Dair, of which I shall speak presently. 

The province of Geshe was formerly in the hands 
of an independent prince of the name of Ausabie, 
who was taken prisoner by Asfa-Woossen, the grand- 
father of Sahela Selassieh. A lady of the name of 
Wooshama was in favoui- with Ausabie. Asfa-Woossen 
knowing this, sent her valuable presents, in order that 
she might deliver over the prince treacherously. She 
called Ausabie to her, captured him, and sent him to 
Asfa-A^'^oossen, who immediately took possession of his 
capital of Dair and his whole territory. Many strong- 
places have thus fallen by means of female craft ; and 
it must also be mentioned, that the Shoan power has 
increased by female assistance. To this day his Shoan 
Majesty marries the daughters of chiefs whom he wants 
to bring over to his side by means of family bonds. 
Lately he went so far as to solicit a marriage with one 
of the princesses of England; but of course this 
singular idea was objected to by Captain Harris, Her 
Majesty's Representative in Shoa. 

About three o'clock we arrived at Dair, the seat of 
the Governor of the frontier. This Governor is ordered 
to be vei-y particular in admitting strangers to the 
stronghold. We therefore had to wait some time 
before we were admitted to his presence. His house 
is built on the top of a hill, which forms a complete 
mass of rocks, the banks of which resemble perpen- 
dicular walls, several hundred feet in height. There 

P 2 


is only one way which leads to the top of the hill, and 
this is attended with great difficulties. They have water 
on this hill, and are able to plough a considerable ex- 
tent of field. No Abyssinian force is able to conquer 
this stronghold. 

A number of people going to Gondar were waiting 
for my arrival in Dair ; but they were immediately 
ordered by the Governor to start, lest they might 
trouble me. They left their good clothes at Dair, and 
wore rags and sheep-skins over their bodies, being 
apprehensive of the Gallas, who plunder almost eveiy 
one they see with a good dress. They were ordered to 
go through the territory of Abie, a Wollo Galla Chief- 
tain, with whom the King of Shoa has been at enmity 
for many years. Each individual must pay a piece of 
salt to this Chieftain as passage money. This is the 
reason why he allows the Shoan subjects to pass 
through his country, though he is at enmity with the 
King of Shoa. The road to Gondar through the 
territory of Abie is much shorter ; but people carrying 
valuable property can never take this route, nor will 
they be permitted by the King of Shoa to expose 
themselves to the plundering Gallas on this road. TVTaen 
talking with the King about my road, he told me that 
Abie would plunder and perhaps kill me; and therefore 
he would send me through the territory of Adara Bille, 
the Chieftain of the tribe Lagga Ghora, with whom he 
was in friendship. The King, as well as myself, did 


to know at that time, that this so-called friend of his 
Majesty would totally plunder me. 

March \7, 1842 — Having been requested by Habta 
]\lichacl, the Governor of Dair, to rest a day or two 
with him before I left the Shoan territory, I complied 
with his kind wish. In the coui'se of the day I made 
preparations for my joui-ney through the AVollo country, 
arranging my baggage in an easier and better manner. 
In the morning I was visited by Alaca Bebille, who 
has been a friend of mine for some time, and who was 
now retm'ning to his country, the island Debra-Gagood- 
gooad, in the lake Haik. He promised to take me to 
the lake if I wished to go there ; but I declined, as 
my jom-ney to Gondar would be delayed. I did not 
know then that Adara Bille would plunder me, and 
that necessity would compel me to visit this lake. In 
general I had not the least fear of being robbed, as I 
was strong enough to repel an attack of robbers who 
should venture to enter into an engagement with me in 
the open field. That Adara Bille would plunder me in 
his house by means of an artifice, how coidd I suppose 

I called upon the Governor of Dair in the course of 
the day ; but as he was hearing causes, I could not 
converse much with him. He again expressed his 
thanks for the Amharic and iEthiopic books which I 
had given him yesterday. I begged him to give me a 
man to introduce me to Adara Bille, the Chieftain of 
Lagga Ghora, as the servants of the King and Zcnama- 


Work wanted to return from Dair. He promised to 
give whatever I should request. 

Whenever I went to the Governor's house on the top 
of the hill — my tent being pitched at the foot of it — I 
had great difficulty in finding my way through the 
numerous guardians of the stronghold. They have 
the strictest orders from the King to stand upon their 
guard with unrelenting punctuality. I understood 
from good authority that his Majesty bribes the watch- 
men, who are appointed by the King in a lineal suc- 
cession of their families, to keep a sharp eye on all the 
proceedings of the Governor himself. The Governor 
therefore must be on the best terms with these watch- 
men, and he must overlook much rudeness which they 
commit toward strangers. A few years ago these 
watchmen successfully contrived to dismiss a Governor 
whom they disliked, by insinuating to his Majesty 
that the Governor intended to declare himself indepen- 
dent^ and to join the party of his Majesty's enemies, 
in order to obtain his objects. 



March 18j 1842 — I left Dair about eight o'clock 
with very peculiar feelings, as I was now on the frontier 
of Shoa, and a long and dangerous way was before 
me. Descending from Dair into the bed of the river 
Waiat, which separates the Wollo country from Slioa, 
I deeply sighed for the assistance of Him in whose 
hands are also a savage-like people. On reaching the 


bed of the river we took au easterly direction^ following 
the course of the river. The Shoans are particularly 
afraid of the place where we crossed, as the Wollo 
Gallas frequently descend from their movintains, and 
lurk in the high grass of the passage of the river. 
Only a fortnight ago there were fifteen men killed, 
when the Wollos came to an engagement with the 
Shoans at this spot. 

We had scarcely crossed the river, when the Wollo 
Gallas set up a cry on their hills around, most probably 
believing that the Shoans had come to make an attack 
on their country. They must have observed our large 
party of men and animals. We had taken the greatest 
care to avoid the discharge of a gun, although there 
was game in abundance, particularly birds which I had 
never seen before in Shoa. We drove on our animals 
as quick as possible, in order to leave this dangerous 
spot behind us. We were fortunate enough to reach 
the district Mesaraser before the Wollos of Abie had 
assembled in any number. About four o^clock p. m. 
we reached the village of Golta, where the petty Go- 
vernor of ]\Iesaraser resides. This district was con- 
quered a few years ago by the brave Ayto Samma Ne- 
goos, then Governor of Geshe. The poor man is now 
in prison on account of his bravery. He killed in bat- 
tle the son of Berroo Loobo, the ruler of Woora Kallo. 
His Majesty declared that he had not ordered his Go- 
vernor to fight with Berroo Loobo, and put him into 
prison. The petty Governor of Mesaraser is under the 


Governor of Dair. He received us well^ providing us 
with every tiling we wanted. As he was suffering from 
an inflammation of his eyes, he requested me to provide 
him with some medicine, which I readily gave him, 
applying an eye-wash of zinc. 

March 19, 1842 — The servants of the King and of 
Zenama-Work took leave of us at Golta. I entrusted 
them with letters to Capt. Harris and his Majesty, in- 
forming them how far I had advanced on my journey to 
Gondar. I started from Golta after seven o'clock. Our 
direction was north-north-east. After half an hour's 
walk we entirely left the Shoan territory, and entered 
the territory of the Wollo Gallas. The boundary of the 
Shoaii territory is marked by a fence and ditch, which 
separates the Shoan dominions from the frontier of the 
Wollo Gallas. This ditch secures the steep road against 
a sudden attack. After we had passed this fence and 
ditch, we soon came to the first Wollo village, which 
is in the tribe of Lagga Ghora, the first Wollo tribe 
through which our road led us. This tribe is depen- 
dent on the Chieftain Adara Bille. The Governor of 
the village came out to see us. He offered us some 
refreshments, which we refused to accept, saying, that 
we were in a great hurry to reach Gatira, the capital of 
Adara Bille, before the evening. He than gave me, at 
ray request, a servant to introduce me to his master 
Adara Bille. It is the duty of Adamie-Dima — the 
name of the Governor of the village — to receive 
•strangers, and to conduct them either to Dair or to 

p 5 


Adara Bille, if they come from Shoa. In the west of 
om- road was the river Shotalmat^ which separates the 
tribe Lagga Ghora from that of Laggambo, which is 
governed by the Chief Amade. The first district of 
Adara Bille's territory^ in which we had entered, is 
called Shanghiet. His whole territory is considerable, 
and Adara Bille himself has the name of a brave 

Adara Bille is nominally dependent on Ras Ali, who 
claims the whole country of the Wollo Gallas. Adara 
was the name of his father, his own name being Bille ; 
but it is customary to mention the name of the father 
and son together. — Adara Bille is commonly called 
Abba-Daghet. The meaning of this word is, " father 
of height." lliis name has reference to his favom'ite 
horse, which has the same name, as the horse carries 
the Chief victoriously over all heights. It is customary 
in Abyssinia, particularly among the Gallas, to call a 
Chieftain according to the name of his horse. After 
we had left the village of Adamie-Dima, we had a 
pretty plain road. Though there are very mountain- 
ous regions among the Wollo tribes, yet the general 
character of their country is plain and level. But it 
must be remarked, that the country of the Wollo 
Gallas is not so productive as that of the Pagan Gallas 
in the south of Shoa. The Wollo country is high 
land, and therefore the temperature is different from that 
of the southern tribes. These are richer in horses, cattle, 
and grain. 


The WoUo Gallas are very bigoted aud fanatic Ma- 
homedans ; but the GaUas in the south of Shoa are 
Pagans, and a better set of people. The Mahomedan 
rehgion has added a great deal to the depravity of the 
Wollo Gallas ; their corruptions being great enough 
when they were still Pagans. A principal trait of their 
character is, outward friendliness and civility, with 
which they cover their inward artfulness. They them- 
selves confess that a Wollo Galla is to be compared 
with a hyseua. Another trait of their character is, 
pei-fidiousness and rapacity. A Wollo Galla will seldom 
keep his word, and will be always most desirous of 
getting yoiu- property. Their connexion mth Gondar, 
and Northern Abyssinia in general, has made them ac- 
quainted with many things unknown to the Southern 
Gallas; but the acquaintance of a savage with any 
valuable article \n\\ almost always lead him to possess 
himself of that article by any means. The Wollo 
Gallas, longing particularly for property, will seldom 
kill a stranger ; while the Southern Gallas, being less 
fond of propei-ty, would kill you, if you had not been 
made the ]\Iogasa or favourite of a Chieftain. 

The Wollo Gallas are much engaged in saying pray- 
ers and in blessing the country. They observe a cus- 
tom which I have never seen with other Mahomedans. 
They assemble early in the morning, say their prayers, 
take coffee, and Tohjid (sort of tea), and smoke tobacco. 
This ceremony is called Wodacha. It lasts on Wed- 
nesday and Friday till after midday. They beheve 


that they receive revelations from Allah (God) on the 
Wodacha. On such occasions they particularly request 
from the Allah that he will give them cows, clothes, and 
whatever they want ; that their Chief may find gold 
and silver ; and that he may daily become stronger. 
I once heard them praying in this manner. 

On om* way this afternoon we could see a great deal 
of the territory of Berroo Loobo, the ruler of Worra 
Kallo. His territory forms almost a triangle from 
south-west to north and north-east. — The highest 
mountains of the Wollo country are Sako, Korkorra, and 
Yoll. We had all these mountains on our left. There 
is perpetual hail on Sako ; but no snow. The moun- 
tain is very high, and is seen from a great distance. 
Korkorra is not quite so high as Sako. Ali en- 
camped on Korkorra when he intended to conquer 
Shoa ; but he was compelled to return, having been beaten 
by the Wollo Gallas, who fell upon his troops every 
where with their light cavalry. Yoll is still less high 
than Sako and Korkorra. On the western foot of Yoll 
is Mecana- Selassie, on which place the former rulers 
of Abyssinia had for some time their residence. This 
was probably the native place of Abba Gregorius, whom 
Mr. Ludolf frequently mentions in his Works. 

The Wollo Gallas are divided into seven houses or 
tribes; namely: Worra Himano, under the present Chief 
Iman Liban ; Worra Kallo, under the sway of Berroo 
Looboj Lagga Ghora, under Adara Bille,orAbbaDaghet; 
Tehooladere, under Amade, or Abba-Shaol ; Boranna, 


under Abba Damto; Laggambo and Charso^ under 
Aniade and Daood-Berille ; and Lagga-Hidda, under 

About five o'clock p. m. we arrived at Gatira, the 
capital of Adara Bille. It derives its name from the 
juniper-tree, wliich is abundant here, and which, in the 
Galla language, is called Gatira. The river Gatu'a runs 
fi'om north-north-east toward south-west- west. This 
river is afterward called Shotalmat, when it separates 
the tribe Lagga Ghora from Laggambo. 

Ha^dng waited for a considerable time for an answer 
from Adara Bille regarding our reception, we were at 
last conducted to a large hoiise not far from the one in 
which he himself resided. They would not allow me 
to pitch my tent, as I had always done before on the 
road. As it began to rain just on our arrival, I did 
uot insist on pitching the tent, particularly as the 
rooms of the house which was given me were good. 
We were then honom'cd vnth. meat, beer, and hydromel 
in considerable quantity. A servant was sent by Adara 
Bille to attend and to inquire what more we wanted. 
Being much fatigued from the journey, I was about to 
go to bed, when Adara Bille sent for me immediately. 
Having never been called so late in Efat by any one, 
I felt uneasy at this call at night : however, I 
got up and went to the Chieftain with three of my 
servants. I was introduced into a small court-yard, 
and then into a large room, where I complimented him. 
He was sitting on a common Abyssinian bedstead. 


covered with an old carpet. He was drinking and 
talking with his favom-ite people^ with whom he ap- 
peared to be more familiar than I have observed with 
great people in Shoa. His dress was a common Galla 
dress — a cloth of cotton — well done over with butter. 
When I approached him, he made a bow, as if I had 
been his superior. He used all sorts of complimen- 
tary words, and was in general so friendly, civil, 
and familiar, that I could not recollect ever having 
seen a Chieftain like Adara Bille. He ordered me 
to take a place on the ground by his side, and began 
to ask many questions. He asked how many gims 
the King of Shoa had received from the English ; and 
then asked about ships, waggons, manufacturing of 
guns, cloths, &c. His condescension made me as 
free in my expressions as if I had been speaking to 
an equal and not superior. His whole appearance gave 
me the best impression. Having talked with him a 
long time, I expressed the deshe of my going home ; 
whereupon he said, " Go ; you have now delighted me 
much with your conversation." 

The reception I had met with from Adara Bille 
pleased me so much that I was going to recommend 
him to the attention of his Excellency Capt. Harris, 
whether he might not be inclined to offer the English 
friendship to Adara Bille. The favom-able idea I had 
received of him was increased when I heard that three 
rulers around had sought for his friendship. The King 
of Shoa has lately given him forty-four \allages in the 


province of Geshe, from which Adara Bille receives the 
annual tribute, for the purpose of securing the road 
between Shoa and Gondar. As the King of Shoa 
always sends his messages to Gondar, and as all other 
routes proved dangerous, he thought it prudent to gain 
Adara Bille over to his interest, by giving him such 
villages, the produce of which is most valuable to him, 
being the Tef, which does not grow in his own territory. 
Berroo Loobo, the ruler of Worra Kallo, in the east 
of Adara Bille's tribe, has given him his daughter 
Fatima in marriage, and several villages suitable for 
the cultivation of cotton, which cannot be cultivated 
in Adara Bille's cold country. Berroo Loobo has acted 
from political motives in granting so much to Adara 
Bille. He wished that this Chief should not join the 
King of Shoa, nor the western Wollo tribes in war 
expeditions against Worra Kallo. 

Imam Liban, the Chieftain of the large tribe of 
Worra Himano, likewise gave a few villages to Adara 
Bille to keep him in his interest. These villages are 
particularly fit for the cultivation of red pepper and 
wheat. This position of Adara Bille between three 
influential rulers, might, I thought, render hmi worthy 
of the British friendship, as he must be a powerful 

The territory of Adara Billets father was small ; but 
his warlike son has considerably extended it. Last 
year the western Wollo tribes almost expelled Adara 
Bille from his country ; but having again gathered an 


army, he completely defeated the invaders, and took 
possession of a part of the tribe Laggambo. 

The Wollo Gallas by no means agree together. Only 
Adara Bille and Berroo Loobo, the Chiefs of the two 
eastern tribes, join together in friendship ; but all the 
others are quarrelling among themselves. These dis- 
sensions of the Wollos are extremely subservient to 
the cause of Shoa and Gondar. If the Wollo tribes 
were all united, the rulers of Shoa and Gondar woidd 
be scarcely able to repulse them, as their cavalry is very 
numerous and the best in Abyssinia. The acknow- 
ledgment of Ras Ali by the Wollos is only nominal, 
and a mere custom of old, although Adara Bille, 
Berroo Loobo, and Imam Liban assist the Has with 

Ha\'ing yesterday acquainted Adara Bille with my 
intention of going to Gondar, to see the Has and the 
new Abuna, I repaired early to him, thanked him for 
his hospitality, and took leave of him. At the same 
time I presented to him a valuable shawl which I had 
received from Capt. Harris, and some trifles of my own. 
He was extremely grateful, and begged me to make 
him a particular friend, as he would do all that he 
could for me. He gave me, at my request, a man to 
introduce me to Imam Liban, the Chief of Worra 
Himano, through whose territory the road would lead 
me to Gondar. I then walked off, thinking that I had 
gained his sincere and lasting fi-iendship ; but in this I 
was miserably disappointed, as will be seen afterward. 


"We set out from Gatira about eiglit o'clock, accom- 
panied by a servant of Adara Bille, and the servant of 
the Governor of Geshe, who was returning to his 
master. Our direction was precisely north. On our road 
we could see more and more of Berroo Loobo's territory 
of Worra Kallo. i\Iy guide pointed out two hills, on 
which BeiToo's two capital towns, in which he ge- 
nerally resides, are built ; viz. Ajm-amba and Gof. 
Berroo's country appears to be hilly ; but at the same 
time with large plains between the hills. I saw par- 
ticularly one range of mountains, which is e\ddcntly 
the continuation of the Efatian range, of which I am 
obliged to make frequent mention. Tlie eastern fron- 
tier of Berroo Loobo's country is the territory of the 
Adels and that of Imam Faris, who resides in Gherfa. 
The northern part of Worra Kallo is bounded by the 
tribe Tehooladere and by Worra Himano. The south 
is bordered by Shoa, and the west by the tribes of 
Adara Bille and Lagga Ghora. 

Berroo Loobo is not on good terms with the King 
of Shoa, since the Shoans, under A)i:o Samma Ncgoos, 
Governor of Geshe, have killed his eldest son Ali. 
Berroo has now only one son left, whose name is 
Amade, and who has the reputation of being a brave 
warrior. About nine o'clock we passed through the 
districts of Googooftoo and Akale in the territory of 
Adara Bille. In Akale we had a high and ])rctty view 
backwards of the provinces of Geshe and ]Mans. I 
saw this morning the sheep with the skin called Lovisa. 


The country of the Wollos is its native country. I 
have ah'eady mentioned that this kind of sheep wants 
a cold cHmate, like that of the Wollo Gallas. The 
people take the greatest care of this animal, feeding it 
with roasted barley and other food. But they take 
care lest it should get too fat, as then its hair would 
fall off. At home it is placed on a bedstead and cleaned 
every day with water. Its hair, which is of a black 
colour, is a cubit or more in length. The skin, which 
is of a good quality, is sold for ten or twenty-five 
pieces of salt. The warriors, who principally wear this 
skin, have a very savage appearance in it. 

Berroo Loobo's father was Wati, a Shocra or weaver, 
who married the daughter of Endris, the Governor of 
Gof. Berroo was educated at the court of Imam 
Liban, the son of Amade, the son of Has Gooksa. 
Imam Liban had a son who was also called Amade, 
and who was the father of the present young Imam 
Liban, of whom I shall speak afterward. When the 
great Liban was dead, Berroo fell into favour with his 
son Amade, who made him Governor of Worra Kallo. 
He then expelled Ali, the son of Endris, from the 
country of Gof, in the possession of which he was con- 
firmed by his superior and friend Amade. Berroo is 
almost entirely independent ; but he prefers to keep up 
some show of dependence on the descendants of Has 
Gooksa. He fi-equently sends his contingent to the 
troops of Ras Ali, who would assist him if the King 
of Shoa or the other Wollo Gallas should become too 


strong for him, Amacle, the father of the present 
Imam Liban, intended to attack Shoa ; but his subse- 
quent death prevented hira from executing this plan. 
Notwithstanding, the King of Shoa having heard of 
his death, sent 100 dollars for a Tescar (festival for 
priests and other people after a funeral), and sohcited 
the friendship of his son, the present Imam Liban. 

About two o^clock we arrived in the district Negassi 
Datch, where we went to the house of Sidi Musie, a 
Governor of Adara Bille. As he was not at home on 
om' arrival, wc did not ventm*e to quarter om-selves in 
his house ; but I pitched my tent as I was accustomed 
to do. When he came, I complimented him, and re- 
quested him to assist us as long as we should reside 
here ; but having gazed at me for a few moments, he 
went into his house, -without doing or promising to 
do any thing for us. He then came out again, sat 
down in my tent, and asked what I had in my 
boxes. I said, " You are not ordered by Adara Bille, 
your master, to inquire after the contents of my boxes; 
but that you should assist and make me comfortable." 
He would not however do anything for us till I gave 
him a razor and some other trifles. We could not buy 
any thing in the neighbourhood, as the villages were 
far off, and as I did not like that my servants should be 
scattered abroad in case of any serious occurrence or 
occasion for self-defence. 

Wc had a very distant view from Negassi Datch. 
We saw from hence the high mountain Anxbassel, be- 


tween Tehooladere and Yechoo. The stronghold of 
Ambassel was for a long time in the hands of Gove- 
nors who ruled by succession ; but the son of one of 
these Governors fell in love with a woman residing 
below in the plain. The father having consented to 
his son's marriage, arranged the solemnities, which were 
to be celebrated in the plain below. All the people of 
the fortress, except the old father, went down ; but the 
father of the bride killed them all. He then went up 
to the stronghold, killed the old Governor, and took 
possession of the mount for himself and his descen- 
dants. The present Governor of Ambassel is Ali 
Boroo, a Mahomedan. I have already stated that 
many strong places in Abyssinia have been treacherously 
delivered by female artfulness. 

March 21, 1842 — As Sidi Musie, our host, had from 
the very beginning of our stay withhim, given undoubted 
signs of suspicion, I had given orders to my people to 
watch by turns dm-ing the night. Sidi Musie always 
wanted to know what was in the boxes, and had declared 
that we should sleep free from all cares and apprehen- 
sions, as he and his people would come to my tent and 
watch the whole night. As he repeated from time to 
time his desire of watching, I positively refused, say- 
ing, that we would watch ourselves ; and protect our own 
property against any attack that might be made upon 
us during the night. As he doubted whether we could 
defend ourselves, I showed him the use of om' guns, 
which frightened him so much that he would not come 


near us again. About midnight my watchman observed 
a great disturbance in the house of the Governor. His 
people went around my tent from time to time in order 
to ascertain whether we were asleep or not. They always 
pretended; when they were asked by the sentry, that 
they had some business in the jungle. We got up in 
an instant with om* fire-arms. The whole proceeding of 
this people and of the Governor convinced me that they 
would certainly have plundered us if they had not been 
in fear of our weapons, and if we had not watched the 
whole night. The servant of Adara Billc had left us 
and slept in the house of the Governor, with whom he 
never exerted himself in our favour. INIost likely he in- 
tended to have a share in oui* property, which they had 
schemed to plunder. 

We left Negassi Datch with sun rise. Upon starting 
we were suiTOunded by the Governor's servants, who 
demanded a present with great noise, as we had been 
in the house of a great king. I replied, " Your master 
is a servant of Adara Bille, and no king, as you say : 
besides, you have done nothing to deserve a reward on 
my part. 1 have given a present to your master, and 
he has done veiy little for me." This answer so en- 
raged them, that it was evident they would have plun- 
dered us on the spot, if they had not been afraid of 
exposing themselves to the effect of our small and large 
shots, with which they had seen us loading our guns. 
Besides, they were so afraid of the bayonets and the 
muskets which I had received from his Excellency the 


Ambassador^ that they would not even touch them for 
fear of being poisoned. The report had been spread in 
Shoa and around, that the EngUsh bayonets are poisoned 
like arrows. Our direction was north-west-west. 

About eight o'clock we left the territory of Adara 
Bille, and entered the territory of the tribe Charso, 
which is dependent on the Chieftain of Laggambo. 
The Governor of Charso is Sadetanka, who is well known 
from his plundering those merchants who venture to go 
through his country. As his capital, Manta-Wodel, 
was close to the road, we made all possible haste to 
pass by this dangerous spot. But we afterward fell 
in with one of his Governors^ Ensenne, as I shall show 
in the course of this day. 

I must confess that I seldom felt my mind so un- 
easy as on the road this day, and my heart was, like 
Moses of old, crying in secret to Him, who is the leader 
and warden of his distressed Israel. It is true, I had 
all the materials with which to make an honourable 
defence; but as a messenger of peace, I could scarcely 
make use of my weapons against the life of my fellow- 
creatures, though I am convinced that every body is 
allowed to make his self-defence in a proper way. I 
therefore begged the Lord not to lead me into tempta- 
tion for the sake of His Holy Name. You can scarcely 
conceive how precarious my situation was. I shall 
never forget the dark and painful feelings with which 
I travelled to-day through the territory of Sadetanka. 
What would our friends at home feel, if they could 


know for a moment the clangers, difficulties, sorrows, 
and privations, in which a Missionary abroad is some- 
times placed ! They would certainly be more earnest 
in prayer for the Mission cause. But the comforts at 
home make them too easily forget the distressing situa- 
tion of their friends travelling in a savage country. 

About nine o'clock we had the misfortune to lose our 
road, as our guide either did not or would not know the 
exact way to the territory of Worra Himano. "^^Tien 
we asked the country people, they led us to the road in 
which we should have fallen into the hands of their Chief, 
though they cunningly concealed this from our know- 
ledge. These people troubled me much with the ques- 
tion, whether I coidd make rain, or foretel from the 
stars when they would have rain. I directed them to 
Him, in whose hands is heaven and earth, and who will 
give us all that we want for our temporal welfare, if we 
first seek for the real welfare of om* souls through faith 
in Jesus Christ, our only Saviour and Mediator. My 
servants told me on this occasion, that Sidi-Music 
had asked them yesterday evening, whether I did 
not know from the observation of the stars what would 
happen to me. 

About ten o'clock we passed a place called Oatara, 
where Ras Ali had his camp last year, when he was 
attacked by the Wollo Gallas and lost several detacli- 
ments. From this point we descended into a difficult 
defile, where I saw many beautiful birds ; but we did 
not venture to discharge a gun, as this would have 


been the signal for a general assembly of the inhabi- 
tants around. We descended as quietly and as quickly 
as possible. We forgot eating and drinking on this 
most beautiful spot, as we expected every moment an 
attack from the rapacious inhabitants. 

About twelve o'clock we met on our road about thii'ty 
soldiers of the Governor Ensenne, who were all armed 
with shields and spears, and had the appearance of at- 
tempting an attack on our Caffila, as they at first con- 
sidered us merchants. I instantly ordered five of my 
musketeers to march in front of our animals, while I 
was in the rear with the others. The soldiers imme- 
diately withdi'cw from the road, and gazed at our im- 
posing weapons. The bayonets particularly attracted 
their attention. They then sat down, most probably to 
consult what they should do ; but none of them ven- 
tured to molest or attack us, and it seemed as if they 
were more afraid of us than we of them. But now 
oiu' attention was directed to the village, which we saw 
at some distance before us on the way-side. I learned 
with the most painful feelings that there was the 
house of the famous robber Ensenne, a true companion 
of Sadetanka. I was told that he formerly resided 
on a neighbom'ing hill ; but that when he heard that 
several caffilas passed the road, without paying a visit 
to the robber dreaded so much, he had his house built 
close to the way-side. Of course no merchant will 
now venture by this road. Our situation was now 
extremely precarious, and I felt something of the wrest- 


liug which Jacob had before he met his brother Esau. 
I cousulted mth my men, whether we could not deviate 
from the road ; but this was found impossible, as we 
were sm-rounded on both sides by steep and impassable 
hills, and as in doing so, we should only have raised 
more the suspicion and rapacity of the inhabitants, and 
of the robber in particular. We resolved therefore to 
go on om- way and to risk every thing we could under 
the almighty guidance of Him who had brought us so 
far in safety. 

Having approached the house of the Governor En- 
senne, one of my people proposed to halt and see the 
robber in his lodging ; but I judged it better to pass 
bv the dangerous spot with all possible haste, because if he 
once saw om* persons and property, he might become 
desirous of possessing what we had. Happily the 
watchmen could not make out who we were, and so 
they did not stop us before the walls of the house, and 
we went on before they had time to inform their master 
of the passing by of an extraordinary stranger. The 
Governor, however, immediately sent his son with a few 
soldiers to prevent us going further, till he had heard 
some particulars of our })ersons and journey. At first 
I objected to halt ; but thinking that I had no right 
to refuse an inquiry of the lord of the country, I sat 
down under a tree, about 300 yards distant from his 
house. I then dispatched the servant of Adara Bille 
to give the Governor all the explanations that he wanted. 
I requested him to say that I should have called upon 



him if I had been acquainted with him for some time, 
and if I had not intended to reach before evening the 
territory of Adara Bille, which Imam Liban had given 
him among his tribe ; and that as he himself would 
be aware of the long distance I had still before me, he 
would allow me to go on, lest night should overtake me. 
The servant went while we rested under the tree in sad 
expectation of the answer of the Governor. His son^s 
attention was entii'cly directed to our guns, and he fre- 
quently asked how many men could be killed with one 
musket. The bayonets frightened him a great deal. 
After a considerable time the servant returned, saying, 
that Ensenne had sworn that he would not have al- 
lowed us to pass, if a servant of Adara Bille had not 
been with us. The servant told him, that he should 
have nothing to do with us, as we had so many 
dangerous weapons with us, that we could destroy him 
and his whole retinue in an instant. The son of En- 
senne retui'ned, and we proceeded on om* way. My 
servants could not refrain from saying, that it was God 
who had inclined the heart of that bad man to peace 
toward us. Other servants said, "The God of our 
master is good, and will not forsake us." 

Although we had got rid of Ensenne, yet we looked 
back from time to time, fearing he would change his 
mind in the mean time, and send a messenger request- 
ing us to return. We drove on our animals as quick 
as possible. To my astonishment they could stand the 
task, although for some days they had been much 


harassed, and had been travelUng since sl\ o'clock this 
morning. In one word, the Lord gave nie to understand 
that he had removed the difficuUies and not myself. 

About five o'clock we descended into the bed of the 
river Adella, which rises at the foot of Korkorra, and 
runs to the river Bashilo. It separates the territory of 
the tribe Charso from that of Laggambo. About six 
o'clock we crossed the river Melka-chillo, which comes 
from the mountain Sako, and separates Charso from the 
tribe Worra Himano. We were compelled to pass tlic 
night in the territory of Imam Liban, as we were almost 
certain of an attack if we rested in any other tribe. 

Having crossed the river Melka-chillo, where there 
is more security for travellers, its ruler being dependent 
on Gondar and a relation of Ras Ali, I proposed to 
sleep in the wilderness on the banks of the river, as 
there was plenty of grass for our starving animals, and 
plenty of wood and water. My people, however, 
would not consent to this proposal, having been frigh- 
tened too much during the day time. The night over- 
took us, and a heavy rain threatened to increase the in- 
conveniences of our situation. We had already marched 
from six o'clock in the morning till night-fall, and had 
not taken any food, and yet we had to go on still fur- 
ther, or rather totter, though we could not see any 
village in the neighbourhood. However, I found my 
consolation and joy in singing the German hymn, 
" Recommend thy ways and all thy sorrows to the 
fatherly care." 

Q 2 


It is quite impossible for our friends in Em*ope, and 
those who are so fond of reading travels, to conceive 
my feelings under such distressing circumstances. 
Separated from the whole world, exposed to dangers, 
indescribable difficulties and sorrows, we had to pro- 
secute our way in a hostile and inhospitable country. 
How miserable should I have been, if I had not known 
the fire-pillar, the almighty covenant-God, accompanying 
me with His invisible presence ! 

Having ascended a hill for a long time, without 
knowing where the road would lead us, we arrived, to 
our unspeakable joy, at the village of Tartar Amba, which 
Imam Liban had given to Adara Bille in sign of 
friendship. As the villagers were all asleep, we had 
some difficulty to find any one who would give us shel- 
ter against the falling rain, and still more who would 
give some refreshment to our party almost dying with 
hunger. After many vain endeavours and attempts at 
being received by the villagers, at last a Mahomedan^s 
heart was affected at hearing of our situation. He got 
up, gave us his house, and some bread and beer. Hav- 
ing refreshed myself with what our host had given in 
haste, I thanked my Heavenly Father for the infinite 
mercy He had given me this day, I lay dowTi as I was, 
on the ground, and fell asleep. 

March 22, 1842— We started from Tartar Amba 
veiy late, as our animals as well as ourselves wanted 
an unusual rest. Our direction was then north-west, 
and sometimes north. About eleven o'clock we passed 


througli a large plain comitiy. To the east of our 
road were two steep single hills^ at a distance from each 
other of about one English mile. On each hill was a 
large village. These hills are called upper and lower 
Chiffa. They serve as strongholds in time of war, and 
against sudden inroads of the people of Laggambo and 
Charso into the territory of Worra Himano. 

About foiu' o'clock we reached Tanta^ the capital of 
Worra Himano, where Iman Liban resides. There is 
only one entrance to the village, which is secured 
against a sudden inroad by means of a ditch and 
wall. On arriving near this ditch we were ordered to 
halt, till my arrival had been announced to Imam Liban, 
who immediately gave orders that I should come and 
see him. On walking up the little hill on which the 
village is built, I was much annoyed by the multitudes 
of people gazing at me. ]\Iost probably they had 
never seen a white man before. I had the satisfaction 
of meeting in the court-yard two messengers of the 
King of Shoa, who had been sent to Imam Liban on 
some business. They proved very useful to me in my 
proceedings with the Imam. 

On being introduced to the Imam, I found him sur- 
rounded by his favourite chiefs, of whom the eldest, as 
he appeared to me, and most influential, gave a reply 
to the wishes of health and happiness, which I had ex- 
pressed toward the Chieftain. At the first moment I 
took this speaker for the Imam himself, till I was cor- 
rected by my introducer, ^\ ho pointed out a little figure 


in the corner of the room. I did not know at that time 
that the Imam Liban was only a boy of fourteen years 
of age^ and that he was still guarded by his Lators. 
He was nicely dressed in a large white Abyssinian 
cloth of cotton, with which he covered his face, so that 
I could scarcely get a sight of his features. He asked 
me about the country from whence I had come, and 
where I was going to. Then his chiefs asked promis- 
cuous questions regarding my own country, its customs, 
arts, &c. ; but in so hasty a manner, that I could scarcely 
finish one subject before they touched another. They 
were really like childi-en. They then presented me with 
a book, which a soldier of the Imam had captured in the 
last war of Ras Ali with Aubie in Begemeder. It was 
an Amharic copy of the four Gospels, printed by the 
Bible Society, and given by Mr. Isenberg to a soldier 
during his stay at Adowah. I read to them the 5th 
chapter of St. Matthew, and gave a few explanations, 
to which they listened with an attention which I did 
not expect from Mahomedans. It is highly gratifying 
to find, that the seed of eternal life, which has been 
spread over Abyssinia by our Mission in Tigre, has been 
carried to the remotest provinces to which a Missionary 
has scarcely access, and we may confidently trust, that 
this seed, which we in our short-sightedness consider 
as lost, will exhibit some rejoicing fruits at the great 
day of revelation. May we therefore continue om* un- 
wearied exertions to our poor Abyssinian fellow-crea- 
tures, in good hope, that our labours will not be in 
vain, as it is not our cause, but the Lord's ! 


Before leaving the Imam's room I begged him to 
give me some information about our road to Gondar, and 
to render me such assistance as I should require in 
going thi'ough his territory and beyond. He replied^ that 
he was very sorry to inform me of the present insecu- 
rity of the road between his territory and Begemeder ; 
and that the robbers had endangered the way so much, 
that lately one of his own Governors on returning from 
the camp of Ras Ali had been attacked and compelled 
to fight his way throvigh a band of robbers, amount- 
ing to about two or three hundi-ed men. I replied, that 
I had ah-eady been made aware of the parties plunder- 
ing strangers near the river Checheho ; but that this 
intelligence, disagreeable as it was to me, would not 
prevent me from prosecuting my way, as I hoped that 
the robbers would not venture to attack my gunners. 
" Well then,'' he said, " if you beheve this, you shall 
ha^e my permission to start from here ; but I will at 
all events order my Governor at Daunt to conduct you 
beyond the river Checheho, where you will find the 
robbers less numerous, and where you will be able 
to make up your business with them by means of your 

As the son of the Governor of Daunt, whose name 
is Karaioo-^Iaitcha, was in the room, the kind Imam 
ordered him to set out to-morrow, and to inform his 
father of his orders for my conveyance beyond the 
Checheho. I thanked him obligingly, and left the 


After I had pitched my tent, a servant was sent to 
attend me during my stay in Tanta. A large quantity 
of beer, hydromel, and bread was also brought. I had 
scarcely refreshed myself with a little of these provi- 
sions, when I was informed that the Imam was sitting 
on the wall opposite to my tent, and that he wished to 
see me in order to ask some questions. On going 
to him, he first asked me, whether the King of Shoa 
had really received muskets, cannons, and other valua- 
ble articles from the King of the White people beyond 
the Great Sea. I replied, that this was quite correct ; 
that the Queen of a great nation, called the English, 
had sent to the King of Shoa a Representative, 
with a present of 300 muskets, 100 pistols, two can- 
nons, and many other articles of great value — that the 
Queen, under whose protection I had the honour to be, 
had sent these presents as tokens of friendship, and 
not as tribute, because she paid tribute to nobody, 
while millions of people paid tribute to her — that the 
King of Shoa had sent letters to the Governor at Aden, 
in Arabia, who had acquainted the Queen with the 
desire of the King of Shoa to join in friendship with 
her; whereupon she had sent those presents — that 
though she possessed the greatest power, wealth, and 
happiness, yet she earnestly desired that all other na- 
tions should advance to the same state of happiness ; 
and although she feared nobody, yet she was concerned 
in promoting the welfare of all her fellow-creatures. 
She was, I added, particularly desirous of keeping up 


friendly terms with the Abyssinian rulers, of estabhsh- 
ing commerce and intercourse between Abyssinia and 
her subjects, and of promoting the knowledge of the 
countries of Abyssinia and beyond. 

The Imam was extremely attenti\re to what I said, 
and I behevc he would have given me a satisfactory 
answer, if I had attempted to soUcit his desire for the 
EngHsh fi-iendship ; but I cannot see how the English 
or any other Em'opeans could approach his country, as 
the avenues to it are extremely difficult to reach, and 
because he is not an independent Chieftain. I there- 
fore thought it prudent only to give him an idea of 
the character of Her IMajesty and of her subjects, and 
to solicit his kind treatment toward Eui'opeans in 

He then requested me to allow my people, who had 
been drilled a little by the English Artillery-men at 
Aukobar, to go through the military exercises of my 
country. I said, that I was no soldier, but a teacher of 
the Word of God, which was contained in the book 
which he had shown me this afternoon ; and that I was 
a Christian teacher, having been sent to Abyssinia to 
teach its inhabitants the true way to their eternal wel- 
fare, and not to teach them military matters, with which 
I was not acquainted. However, if he wished to see 
the militaiy exercises of my country, my people would 
show him, though they themselves did not know much 
about the matter, as I had only allowed them to be 
drilled as far as I thought proper, and as they might 
Q 5 


be useful to me in going through savage countries. 
Most of them managed the business so well in firing 
quickly and precisely, that the Imam covered his face, 
and exclaimed with astonishment, that no Abyssinian 
force could stand against a few hundred soldiers of my 
country. He then added, " You may go wherever you 
like, nobody will be able to rob you.^' 

Tanta is a small village, containing about 600 inha- 
bitants. A market is held here every week, and many 
articles are brought for sale. The people of "Worra 
Himano, though originally Gallas, seldom speak the 
language of the latter. I have observed this mth all 
the Wolla tribes through which I have come since I 
left Shoa. Most of the inhabitants speak the Amharic 
better than the Galla, and I have reason to suppose, 
that the Galla language will be entirely forgotten by 
the rising generation, as has been the case in the tribe 
of Tehooladere, where a few persons only understand 
the Galla-language. The continual intercourse of the 
Wollo Gallas with the Abyssinians in the north, and 
the Shoans in the south, seems to me to be the cause 
of this general reception of the Amharic among the 
Wollo tribes. But I doubt whether the western tribes 
are so advanced in the Amharic as the eastern tribes 
are, as these have less intercourse with the Abyssinians, 
and have been less dependent on the rulers of Gondar. 
Furthermore, I have observed, that the dialect of the 
Wollo Gallas is a little different from that of the Gallas 
in the south of Shoa. They have mixed up Arabic 


and Amharic expressions with tlie pui'e Galla tongue, 
as we may expect from Maliomedans. It would not 
therefore signify if this Galla dialect were to be com- 
pletely extinguished in process of time, as the pure 
Galla will be preserved in the south and south-west 
of Shoa. 

The territory of Imam Liban extends itself pretty 
far, four or five days being reqmred to traverse it from 
west to east- The Imam is considered as defender of 
the INIahomedan faith, and Head of the I\Iahomedan 
party ; and this is the reason of the attachment which 
all these tribes entertain toward him. He is the Re- 
presentative of the ]\Iahomedan power in Abyssinia. 
He is the Muhamedo, as they significantly call him. 
And this was another reason why I would not endea- 
vour to raise his desire for British friendship and assis- 
tance, as in my opinion the cause of civilization in 
Abyssinia and the countries beyond would rather lose 
than gain, if the British should support the INIahome- 
dan party, which would use its new strength to propa- 
gate the same system of bigotry and fanaticism with 
which they are infected, to all the other Galla-tribes 
which have not yet fallen into their hands. They would, 
if powerful enough, immediately exterminate Christi- 
anity in Abyssinia. A\Tierever they take a Christian 
district, they bm-n the churches and compel the inha- 
bitants to adopt ]\Iahomedanism. 

The young Iman Liban has a countenance expres- 
sive of intelligence, and his manners and behaviour are 


pleasing. It seems to me that he will prove a brave 
warrior in the course of time. His conversation is en- 
gaging, though generally on the subject of war and 
war-like people. But it is possible that the present 
disturbances of Northern Abyssinia deprive him of the 
prospect and hope of future power, and assign to him 
the lot of insignificance, which is annually cast upon 
many of the Abyssinian rulers, who rise and vanish 
in a short time, as is the case with all earthly hap- 

March 23, 1842 — Having selected a few pleasing 
things for the Imam, I went to present them to him, 
and take leave of him. The articles consisted of a colour- 
ed handkerchief, a pair of scissors, a razor, and a box of 
phosphoric matches. The last pleased him amazingly, 
and he expressed his sincere thanks. He took a fancy 
to my percussion-gun ; but with this I would not part. 
He has about 1000 match-lock-guns, as I learned from 
good authority. His army, which he can raise in a 
short time, is considerable ; but his revenues appear to 
be very scanty. The people are obliged to join the 
army whenever the Chieftain requires ; and as this oc- 
cupies a great deal of their time, they will not pay many 
other tributes. The soldiers must provide themselves 
with spears, shields, swords, and food during the whole 
expedition. The gunners only receive their weapons 
from the Chieftain. This is the case in Shoa and other 
Abyssinian provinces ; but in Tigre and Amhara, they 
have guns of their own. 


All the Chiefs which I have at present seen, have less 
state than the King of Shoa, and their form of Go- 
vernment is much looser than that of Shoa. It is 
true, all other Abyssinian subjects can go wherever they 
like, can dress themselves as they like, and have more 
liberty in many respects ; but there is no province of 
Abyssinia where person and property is so much res- 
pected and secui'ed as in Shoa ; though in Shoa there 
is much despotism, people being limited by numerous 
restrictions and regulations. But after all, Shoa 
compared with the other parts of Abyssinia, has un- 
questionably the preference, though the Shoans cannot 
go where they like, dress as they like, &c. Robbeiy is 
seldom heard of in Shoa ; so that yoii are as secure on a 
journey as in Europe. If you should lose on the road 
such things as people dare not use, they will to a cer- 
tainty be restored to you, as the King would pimish 
any one who ventured to conceal them. It is true, 
that most of tlie restrictions of his Shoan Majesty are 
obstnicting to commerce and intercourse ; but it is to be 
hoped that with the increasing influence of the British 
this will be done away ; and in fact, his Majesty has re- 
moved many restrictions by the tenns of the treaty 
which he concluded with Capt. Harris, Her IVIajesty's 
Representative, on the 16th Nov. IS-ll. 

Having repeatedly expressed my hearty thanks to 
Imam Liban, I took leave of him. We started from 
Tanta about seven o'clock, accompanied by the son of 
the Governor of Daunt, the frontier of Imam's territory 


in the west. Our direction was north-west- west. We 
had before us a long descent^ which caused us many 
difficulties. The son of Ayto Karaioo-Maitcha went 
before us, in order to inform his father that we should 
arrive at Daunt to-morrow. 

About eleven o'clock we reached the bed of a river 
running to the river Bashilo. The bed was dry, and 
water was only to be had in some places. We halted 
in the bed of the river till the greatest heat of the day 
was over. In the south-west of Tanta we saw the 
stronghold of Magdala. This is a high and large hill, 
resembling the form of a square, the banks of which 
are high and almost perpendicular. There is a plain 
on the top, with water and a field for cultivation, on 
which the Imam has a garrison and keeps his treasures, 
and in which he takes refuge when an enemy is too 
strong for him. No Abyssinian force could easily take 
this stronghold. There is only one entrance, which is 
in the east. About three o'clock we were overtaken by 
rain. We met many people going to the market of 
Tanta, which is held on Saturday. 

About four o'clock we arrived at the bed of the river 
Bashilo, which rises in the mountains of the Yechoo in 
the north-east, taking up most of the contributing rivu- 
lets and torrents of the countries around, and canying 
its water to the Nile between Godjam and Begemeder. It 
is a very fine river, with steep banks and a deep bed, 
between a range of mountains. It is upward of 100 
feet in breadth ; but its real water-course is only about 


thii*ty feet. Its depth was half a foot at the spot where 
I crossed. The preceding raiu may have increased it a 
little. Its curvities are numberless, as it must some- 
times take a circuitous way to receive a ri\'ulet, which 
could not reach the Bashilo if this gatherer of the 
water-taxes would not go to it. The Bashilo gave me 
great pleasure in studying the natui'e of the countiy, 
and really there is nothing more interesting for a tra- 
veller than the study of rivers and mountains. 

As we could not reach the next village beyond the 
river Bashilo before night, a petty Governor, whose ac- 
quaintance I had made on the road, advised us to pass 
the night on the banks of the river, an advice which 
afterward proved useful. The only disadvantage of 
this stay was, that we could not get any provisions. 

March 24, 1842 — We started early from the river 
Bashilo as we had a long way before us to Daunt, where 
the Fit-Aurari (general of the advanced-guard) Karaioo- 
Maitcha, should receive and conduct us to Bcgemeder. 
But the way of Providence had put an end to our jour- 
ney, though we were only five days' journey from Gon- 
dar. From the river Bashilo we had to ascend a great 
deal tlirough a com])letc wilderness, the country having 
been abandoned by the inhabitants for many years. On 
arriving at the top of the mountain which we had been 
ascending, a large plain, called Dalanta, was presented 
to our view. This plain was rich in cattle, grass, &c. ; 
and all that we saw gave the appearance of the inliabi- 
tants possessing considerable wealth. But this weahh 

352 MR. krapf's relinquishes his intention 

however was to be put an end to \^'itll the occurrences 
of this day. Having traversed the plain on its south- 
western boundary, we descended to the road which 
should lead us to the house of Maitcha-Karaioo on 
the hill of Daunt, which we could distinctly see already. 
On a sudden we received the disagreeable and sad in- 
telligence, from people whom we met on the road, that 
Karaioo-Maitcha had been killed this morning j and 
that his son, who had been sent by the Imam on our 
account, had been imprisoned, in consequence of an 
attack which Berroo Aligas, the Governor of Wadela, 
had made upon the territory of Imam Liban. The 
people who gave us this news ran away in great haste, 
in order to secure their property on the plain of Da- 
lanta before the troops of Berroo Aligas should lay 
waste this plain. 

My people were now in great fear ; but I ordered 
them to go on, as perhaps this report might prove \m- 
founded. We had, however, scarcely marched a few 
hundi-ed yards further, than we met a female relation 
of Imam Liban, who confirmed the truth of the intel- 
ligence. The lady had escaped fi-om Daunt as soon as 
the Governor had been killed and the soldiers of Berroo 
Aligas had taken possession of the place. She had 
only one male servant with her, and had been obliged, 
as she said, to leave aU her property and even their 
children to the enemy. On mentioning her children, 
she shed a stream of tears, and entreated us not to 
pursue our joui-ney any farther, but to return with her 


to the Imam, as the ferocious sokliery of Berroo 
Ahgas would kill us, or at all events plunder us 
of our property. A\Tiile we were talking with the 
woman, we were met by other people who had taken 
flight. AVe therefore had no further doubts of the 
truth of the fact. There was now the difficult ques- 
tion, what we should do ; whether we should retreat, 
or go on. Most of my people advised a retreat in due 
time, and I myself was finally of that opinion, as we 
could not stand the chance of foixing our way through 
the plundering soldiers of Berroo Aligas. They were 
not the robbers whom we expected to find near the 
river Checheho, and whom we should most probably 
have been able to overcome, as they had no fire-arms ; 
but it would have been madness on our part to 
attempt a defence against the prevailing force of Berroo 
Aligas' gunners and cavalry. If we had defended our- 
selves, they would have killed us ; and if we had made 
no defence whatever, they would have plundered us. 
I therefore agreed with my people to a speedy retreat, 
as it is well known in Abyssinia, that an ap])roaching 
enemy runs in a short time over a large extent of coun- 
try ; and that if once the confusion has begun, you can- 
not even rely on youi- friends behind, as then every one 
does as he pleases. Thus we retreated with the greatest 
grief, as we were not far from Gondar, and as we had 
already overcome so many difficulties on the road. 
Had wc known that Adara Bille, whom we considered 
our greatest and best friend, would afterward plunder 


US, we would have risked our way to Goudar by all 
means ; but who can tell what will happen to him on 
the morrow ! 

Having returned to the plain of Dalanta, some of 
my people advised to pass the night in one of the vil- 
lages, until we should learn whether the enemy would 
really come by the road on which we had retreated. 
But I strongly objected to this" plan, because, if the 
enemy once reached the plain, he could easily overrun 
the villages before we should be able to escape with our 
heavy baggage of books and tired animals. We there- 
fore left the plain and ascended to the hills, where we 
quartered ourselves with the same man whom I had 
providentially become acquainted with on the road yes- 
terday. There was no fear of our being attacked before 
night, as the steep banks of the hills would prevent the 
enemy's horsemen from galloping on. 

When we passed over the plain of Dalanta we found 
the whole population confused and perplexed. They 
had already heard of what had happened at Daunt. 
Eveiy body who had a horse was ready, if the enemy 
should approach, to take flight. Our host behaved 
veiy kindly. He gave us provision, without which we 
had been since yesterday. He was very busy in sending 
his cattle to the mountains beyond the river Bashilo, 
where the enemy could not catch them so easily. I 
asked, whether they would not make any resistance in 
favour of their present master, the Imam Liban. My 
host replied, that poor people never fought, as they 


would make submission to every one who could conquer 
the country. He added^ " The strongest shall be our 
master. Poor people think only of saving their cattle 
and not of saving theii* master^ who has to look out for 

During the night I examined my luggage, in order 
to select those things which were heavy and which I 
could leave behind in case we should be obliged to leave 
the place in a hurry to-morrow. My mind was not a 
little excited at the thought of our being so near Gon- 
dar, and being obliged to return to Shoa. I could 
hardly believe that we were really on our retreat, and I 
had some hope that an occurrence would happen and 
lead us to the place of our destination. 

March 25, 1842 — After day-break we received the 
news that the enemy was advancing toward the plain of 
Dalanta. I was just considting with my host whether 
I should not send a letter and some presents to Beroo 
Aligas, and ask him for permission to go through his 
countiy, and for a safeguard as far as Begemcder. 
]\Iy host agreed with me ; but the question was, who 
would take the letter and convey it through the plunder- 
ing army of Bcrroo Aligas. My Galla, named Bcrkie, 
oflFered to take charge of the letter. The letter was 
written, and the servant ready to start, when we learned 
that BeiTOO-Aligas himself had not yet arrived at Daunt, 
and that only his plundering advanced-guard was 
moving toward Dalanta. Under these circumstances I 
would not venture to expose my servant to the danger 


of losing his life, though I afterward wished that I 
had despatched the letter. 

We left our host and retreated beyond the river 
Bashiloj which we crossed, but not at the place we did 
the first time. Having crossed the river, we ascended 
a steep mountain with the greatest difficulties, and 
nearly lost some of our animals. We had already lost 
two horses of burden in crossing the Bashilo at the 
first time. Having arrived on the top of the mountain, 
we lost our road, as we had no guide with us, and as 
the whole country was a complete wilderness, though 
it might be beautifully cultivated. At last we arrived 
in the little village called Gembarghie, after having 
sufi'ered much from the fatigues of our going over the 
mountains. As we found a spring of water near the 
village, we pitched om* tent there, and still entertained 
the hope that we might be able to prosecute om- road 
to Gondar, though a circuitous way. I had agreed 
vdth my host that in case he should receive better 
news from Daunt, he should give me information of 
it ; but his messenger never reached me, nor did I hear 
anything more of my kind host. 

All our provisions, except coffee were gone, and very 
little could be procured in the village, though I oficred 
whatever payment they wanted. AVe had therefore no 
other choice than to look out for game with our guns. 
I passed a very restless night, being extremely dissatis- 
fied with my return ; but after all, what could I do 
against the dispensations of Providence ? 


March 26^ 1842 — As no message from our host be- 
yond the river Basliilo had arrived^ I judged it best to go 
from Gembarghie to Tanta, and inquire of the Imam 
what I should do in my perplexing circumstances. We 
kept close to the territory of Daood-Berille, whose 
capital is Saint, which we could see from a distance 
pretty well. This man, who had it in his power to for- 
ward me to Gondar, has the reputation of being a 
robber ; and besides he was not on good terms with 
Imam Liban, without whose recommendation and pro- 
tection it was impossible to proceed to Daood-Bcrille. 

On our return from Gembarghie we had a pretty 
view of the course of the river Bashilo to the mount 
Samada, in the north-east of Godjam. The high 
mountains of Begemcder were also presented to our 
\ievf j and Debra-Tabor, the capital of Has Ali, was 
pointed out to me by one of my servants who had 
formerly been there. As I would not return to Imam 
Liban in too great haste, I pitched my tent near the 
stronghold of Magdala before mentioned, and sent a 
messenger to the Imam, to ask his advice in my critical 
situation. In the mean time, I inquired whether there 
was any other road to Gondar except by way of Daunt 
and Saint ; but my inquiry was in vain. My messen- 
ger retm-ned without having seen the Imam, his whole 
court being in confusion and preparing for war. My 
man was like to be ])lundered and deprived of his cloth 
and mule by the Imam's o^^^l people. Under such 
circumstances, and the way being obstructed on all 


sides, the best plan appeared to return to Shoa tliroiigh 
the territory of Adara Bille, on whose friendship and 
kindness I thought I could rely. 

In the evening we received the intelligence, that 
Berroo Aligas had been invested with the government 
of Daunt by Eas Ali, in consequence of the great 
services which Berroo Aligas had rendered to the 
Ras by his having captui'cd Ubea and his army. It 
would appear from this information, that Berroo Aligas 
had not attacked the territory of Imam Liban from 
enmity or a desire of increasing his power; but I 
doubted the truth of this intelligence, as Has Ali 
would have acquainted his relation, the Imam, before 
he had invested Berroo Aligas with the government or 
Daunt, which belonged to the Imam. It appeared to 
me, that the invader's party had pm*posely contrived 
this report, in order to protract or avert the measures 
which the Imam would take against the invading army. 
However, I thought proper to inquire of the Imam 
himself about this matter. Under these circumstances 
I compared the road from Ankobar to Tadjm'ra with 
that to INIassowah, and was led to the following con- 
clusions : — 

1. Although the climate from Ankobar to Massowah 
is superior to that of the Danakil country ; and 
although there is everywhere plenty of water, and a 
cool and healthy an* on the Massowah road, yet the 
Tadjurra road is more prefered by the traveller. 

2. It is true, that the difficulties arising from want 


of water and excessive heat in the Danakil country are 
very great ; but you do not meet with the distui'bances 
which ahnost continually happen on the road through 
northern Abyssinia, and which either delay or consider- 
ably endanger your route. 

3. On the Tadjurra road you have only to agree with 
one guide and proprietor of camels, which will carry 
yom* baggage as far as Efat ; while on the Massowah 
road you pass from the hands of one Chieftain into the 
hands of anothei', each of whom wants a present for 
the assistance which he gives you. Besides, as there 
is no road for camels, you are obliged to procure your 
own beasts of bm-den, which cannot cany the same 
quantity of baggage which a camel can. 

4. These beasts of burden cannot stand a journey, 
which is almost three times farther from Ankobar, 
than that from Tadjurra. Yom* animals will die, and 
you will be exposed to many difficulties till you have 
procured others. 

These and other reasons led me to the conclusion, 
that the Tadjurra road is, notwithstanding its incon- 
veniences and difficulties, preferrable to the IMassowah 
road ; and that therefore the road from Tadjurra must 
be kept open and secured. 

The gi-eat services which Berroo Aligas, Governor of 
Wadela and a part of the Yechoo, has rendered to lias 
Ali consist in the follomng facts, which throw a light 
upon the present state of things in Northern Abyssinia. 
When the new Abuna — Abba Salama — had arrived in 


Tigre, Ubea declared war against Ras x\li, his master. 
Joined by Berroo, the son of Dejaj Goshoo, Governor of 
Godjam, he attacked the Ras in Begemeder, near Debra 
Tabor. The Has was completely beaten and compelled 
to take refuge in a convent of Wadela. But Berroo 
Aligas, who was absent with his troops during the 
battle, and did not know about the defeat of his 
master, made a sudden attack on Ubea's camp, who in 
the afternoon of the battle was overjoyed at his victory, 
and had given way to the excesses of intoxication. 
Ubea was captured in his tent, being quite intoxicated, 
and most of his troops were also imprisoned by Berroo 
Aligas, who was then assisted by those prisoners of 
Ras Ali who had in the morning fallen into the hands 
of Ubea. These were set at liberty, and imprisoned 
those who had captm'ed them in the morning. The 
Ras regained his power, while that of Ubea was totally 
overcome. During the captivity of Ubea, the Ras 
appointed Merso, the brother of Ubea, Governor of 
Semien and Tigre ; but the Ras was requested by the 
Abunas, who had taken Ubea's party and was imprisoned 
at the same time with Ubea, to set his friend at liberty. 
The Ras complied, and summoned Merso to restore 
his government to Ubea his brother ; but JNIerso refused 
to resign and submit himself to the orders of the Ras. 
Thus a new war arose between Merso — who had at first 
taken the party of the Ras till his brother was cap- 
tured — and Ubea, joined by the forces of the Ras. When 
the intelligence of Ubea's captivity arrived in Tigre, the 


people of this province chose a new Governor in the 
person of Balgadaraia, a grandson of Ras Wolda- 
Selassieh, who has the reputation of being a brave 
warrior and a kind master. But it is a question, whe- 
ther this new Governor of Tigre, who has to tight with 
many petty chiefs in Tigre itself, will be able to keep 
up his power, or whether he will be expelled by Ubea 
when he has settled his business mth his brother Merso 
in Semien. As Ubea is assisted by the Ras, I suppose 
Balgadaraia cannot stand the task of a war with both 
these. In the mean time the roads are considerably 

March 27, 1842 — We returned this morning to 
Imam Liban, who appeared to have been in great sorrow 
and apprehensions regarding myself. "SATien he saw 
me, he said, " You have done veiy well in returning to 
me, as you cannot go to Gondar under present circum- 
stances. If you Hke you can take your refuge with my 
Governor Joossoof on the stronghold of Hoait,* which 
my enemies w^ll not be able to conquer. In the 
course of a month you will be able to see whether you 
can again attempt your journey." I replied, that I 
could not take the part of any of the combatants, and 
that I would prefer taking any other route which he 
would recommend to me ; or if not, that I would 
return to Shoa. He said, " Just as you like ; but 1 

* This is a high hill on the junction of the river Basiiilo with another 
river, the name of which I have forgotten. The hill is situated in the 
uorth of Tauta. 


cannot send you to Gondar, as all the roads will be 
closed for some time/^ It appeared that he wished 
to send me to Hoait, in order that my gunners might 
assist in the defence of the place ; but I would never 
have consented to this^ except under most perplexing 
circumstances. I learned afterward that the stronghold 
had been attacked by Berroo Aligas and his brother 
Faris, who joined him at the time of my retiu'n to 
Adara Bille, and that many men had been killed on 
both sides. 

I took leave of Imam Libau^ and retm-ned to Tartar- 
Amba, where Abba Gooalit, the Governor of Adara 
Bille's territory in Worra Himano^ received me well, 
and provided me with provisions, which had been very 
scanty for several days. 

March 28, 1842 — Abba Gooalit, our host, treated us 
kindly. He is a Christian. In general, there are 
many Christians in Worra Himano ; and I was told 
that there were many in former times before Amade, 
the father of the present Imam, by means of force and 
persuasion, converted a great number to the Maho- 
medan religion. If Berroo Aligas, who is a Christian, 
should now be victorious, the cause of jMahomedanism 
would receive a severe blow in Worra Himano. Abba 
Gooalit was civil, but at the same time a great beggar. 
He wanted a mule from me, though he saw that all 
my mules were for my own use and for my servants. 

We left Tartar Amba about sunrise, accompanied by 
a servant of x\bba Gooalit. "NYe took great care to 


avoid going toward the territory of Ensenne^ the 
famous robber in the tribe Charso, which I have men- 
tioned before. AVe kept our route in the territory of 
Worra Himano, which is bounded on the north by 
Wadela and Yechoo, on the east by Tehooladere, on the 
south by Ben'oo Loobo's and Adara Bille's countries, 
and on the west by Begemeder. The people knowing 
that I came from Shoa, frequently asked me, how many 
ounces of gold I had received from the King of Shoa, 
it being the general opinion of the Abyssinians in the 
north ; that there is much gold in Shoa ; and that its 
king gives this metal to all strangers ; who leave his 
country. In some instances this report is true, as the 
king has given gold to some strangers, but Shoa is not 
the country where gold is found. Occasionally some 
may be found ; but the gold which comes to Shoa, is 
brought from Gm-ague and beyond, where it is found 
in the bed of rivers after the rain. But no Shoan 
subject is allowed to possess gold, which is only in the 
hands of the king, who would severely punish any of 
his subjects who had any, except the king himself 
had given it. 

The idea that Shoa was a rich gold country has in- 
duced several rulers of northern Abyssinia to attempt to 
subjugate Shoa ; but they never could succeed, as the 
Wollo Gallas took the part of the King of Shoa 
against the invaders, and as the difficulties from the 
nature of the counti-y are vciy great. I lis Shoan 
Majesty knows veiy well that the northern rulers have 

K 2 


always an eye upon Shoa ; and therefore he endeavours 
to be on good terms with them, and bribes those 
governors with presents who might prove prejudicial 
to him. Most probably he will give up this system 
of foreign politics, since he has received great assistance 
in the British friendship, which, if he would only 
make a proper use of it would make him king of the 
whole of Abyssinia. 

About ten o'clock we passed Fala, where a celebrated 

market is held. It is situated on a hill, with steep and 

high banks in the east and west. In this direction a 

wall of about three or four feet in thickness has been 

built to close the road against an invading army. 

This difficult passage secures from the south the access 

to the interior of the possessions of Imam Liban. In 

the west of Fala is the mount Amora-gadel, which is a 

natural stronghold against the inroads of the Galla 

tribes in the south-west. In the east we saw a high 

hill, called Kemmer Dengai, which was produced by a 

former Imam, according to a tradition, which states 

that when the Imam was resting on a stone, he ordered 

his servant to lift it up ; and that when the servant did 

so, the stone became a large hill. 

About three o'clock we passed close to the market- 
place of Totola in Berroo Loobo's country. This is 
one of the most celebrated markets of Abyssinia. We 
saw immense flocks of people coming from all quarters, 
as the market was to be held the next day. Even the 
Boranna Gallas, of the western Wollo tribes, \isit this 


market. INIercliants come from Gondar, Tigrc, and 
Shoa. Whatever Abyssinia produces, is sold in this 
market, particularly horses, skins, clothes, and slaves. 
The duties which Berroo Loobo levies on this market 
are said to be veiy little ; but not^vdthstanding, he 
receives weekly about 6000 or 8000 pieces of salt. It 
must be remarked that a dollar is changed for thirty 
pieces of salt in Loobo's country. The people here are 
as scrupulous as the Shoans in selecting a certain kind 
of dollar. The dollar must not only have seven points 
distinctly expressed above the star in the middle, and 
s. f. below ; but it must also look very white, and must 
not appear dirty, as they believe that filth has been ap- 
plied to the dollar for the purpose of covering the tin, 
of which it had been composed by impostors. I am 
sorry to say, that they are not so particular in having 
their faces cleaned, or their clothes washed, as they are 
in selecting this sort of dollar. 

There are several other important market places in 
BciTOO Loobo's country, and I have often heard that 
Berroo encourages trade, and in general has great order 
in his government. The Danakils like him much, and his 
people trade to Tadjurra. In this respect he must be 
superior to the King of Shoa, who did not allow his 
subjects till hitherto to go to the coast, probably from 
motives of superstition or narrow ideas, as if the en- 
trance to his kingdom would become known to strang- 
ers, and his suljjects having been acquainted with the 


Danakils^ might run over to them when they are male- 
content with hira. 

About five o'clock p. m. we again reached the terri- 
tory of Adara Bille, and intended to pass the night in 
the house of a Governor called Edris ; but on an-iving 
in his village we learnt that in consequence of a quarrel 
which arose between him and his subjects^ he had been 
compelled yesterday to take flight. The whole village 
was still in confusion, a circumstance which was ex- 
tremely unpleasant to us, as we had believed that as 
soon as we had returned to the territory of our great 
friend and kind host, Adara Bille, our difficulties and 
privations would be at end. The behaviour of the vil- 
lagers was rude and daring, and every appeal to Adara 
Bille, to whom we represented their proceedings, was in 
vain. Our guns, however, frightened and prevented 
them from falling upon our baggage like a vulture on 
his defenceless prey. I foimd it necessary to put on a 
sentry; and as my people were very tired from the 
fatigues of the day, I watched in my turn. 

From the village where we had pitched the tent, I 
had a majestic view over almost all the territories of the 
Wollo Gallas. Ranges of mountains run from south 
or south-east to north and north-west. Each range is 
separated from the other by a plain, a river, or a torrent. 
Each range is inhabited by another Wollo tribe, just as I 
have observed in the country of the Gallas in the south 
of Shoa. The river or torrent serves the inhabitants 
of the mountain to defend their territory against ano- 


thcr tribe. The rivers rim cliiefly to the Bashilo, 
which has the same destination as the river Aclabai 
in Shoa ; viz., to collect the tributes of water of a few 
hundred miles around and to carry this tribute to the 
great lord Abai or Nile. I must confess, that the sys- 
tem of the mountains and rivers of Abyssinja always 
replenishes my mind with astonishment at the wisdom 
of Him who has created all things with the best order 
and organization. 

March 29, 1842 — When the man who had accom- 
panied me from Tartar Amba had left, we started from 
the Aillage where we had been treated very rudely. As 
our animals were tired from the continual fatigues, we 
had great difficulties in giving them their loads. Several 
mules were sore and could not be mounted. I thought 
that if I should undertake this journey another time 
I would pack up all my baggage on horse-back, but 
with a very light load. I would be mounted myself on 
horse-back, and my servants also. A guide would show 
me the road. I would take such a quantity of provi- 
sions that I should not be obliged to halt at places 
where there is any danger, and should I accidentally 
fall in with dangerous people, I would mount my horse 
and escape. This is the only way of traversing these 
hostile regions. 

We arrived at Gatira, the capital of Adara Bille, at 
three o'clock. I immediately sent my compliments, 
and explained the reasons of my speedy and unexpected 
return. lie sent word, that I had done exceedingly 


well in returning to him, and that God had delivered 
me from being plundered and murdered on the road to 
Gondar. At the same time, he sent some refreshments, 
and promised to give all that I wanted, as he wished to 
make me very comfortable. Can you fancy this to 
have been the language of a man who himself was 
going to plunder or to kill me in his own house ? After 
an hour^s rest, I was called to see him ; and when I ap- 
peared, he used the same expressions as before, and ap- 
peared to be extremely sorry at my disappointment in 
the prosecution of my journey. How could I suppose 
that Adara Bille, whose house I considered as my own 
— who always pretended to be the most sincere friend 
of Sahela Selassieh — who assumed the greatest friend- 
liness — who sent every moment to inquire after my 
wants — and who, in one word, treated me vnth the 
utmost attention — how could I suppose that this man 
was the very worst man whom I had ever seen in my 
life ? 

My people, as well as myself, hoped that we should 
in a few days be within the boundaries of Shoa ; but 
our Almighty Guide had intended to lead us by an op- 
posite road, and to try me with indescribable privations, 
hardships, dangers, and difficulties. 

March 30, 1842— When I intended to leave Gatira 
after sun-rise, I was ordered by Adara Bille to stay with 
him, till he had informed the Governor of Dair, and 
through him the King of Shoa, whether I should be per- 
mitted to return to Shoa or not, as he had only received 


orders to conduct me to the road of Gondar, and not 
that he should assist or allow my return. If he allowed 
me to start without the king's knowledge^ his Majesty 
might afterward blame him, as he had done when the 
brother of Samma-Negoos escaped, when his ]Majesty 
sent the message to Gatira, " INIy son, my son, why 
doest thou not watch ; why doest thou allow everybody 
to go thi'ough thy country as he pleases ? " I replied, 
that I was no stranger to the King of Shoa, who knew 
me very well, and who would probably be delighted 
with my return. Besides, his Majesty could not have 
any objection to my entering his country, as he had 
stipulated in a treaty with the Queen of the English, 
that no British subject should be prevented from 
entering the Shoan dominions. But all my objections 
were in vain, as Adara Billc declared that I should 
not move from Gatira, till he had received the answer 
of the Governor of Dair, who was the King's repre- 
sentative on the frontier. In the mean time he would 
make me comfortable, and give me every thing that I 
should want. He then sent a messenger off to the 
Governor of Dair. One of my lads also accompanied 
the messenger at Adara Bille's request. At the same 
time I wrote a letter to his Majesty, and to Captain 
Harris, the British Ambassador, informing them of 
the reason of my retui*n, and of my detention in the. 
house of Adara Bille. But how much was I as- 
tonished at learning four days afterward, that my 
servant had been imprisoned on the road by Adara 

11 5 


Billc's Governor of the frontier, and that only Adara 
Bille's servant had gone to Dair, where he most pro- 
bably never mentioned my business. 

Thinking that Adara Bille intended to detain me 
for the purpose of obtaining from me some presents 
in addition to those which I had given him on my 
first stay in his house, I gave him several valuable 
things, hoping he would allow me to depart. But of 
course after he had once made up his mind to plunder 
my whole baggage, he was not content with these. 
His head-wife Fatima, the daughter of Berroo Loobo, 
Chieftain of Worra Kallo, sent for a looking-glass, 
which she received. 

In the afternoon a messenger from Berroo Loobo 
arrived at Adara Billets ; but for what purpose I could 
not ascertain. Adara Bille called me to his house, 
and introduced me to the messenger, who was a man 
of great influence and favour with Berroo Loobo. He 
first asked, what the English had sent to the King of 
Shoa ? and then requested me to see his master at 
Ayn-Amba ; but I replied, that I \vished to return to 
Shoa without any delay, as I wanted to go to the coast 
of Tadjurra ; and secondly, that I had nothing to give 
his master, who vv^as an influential and great Chieftain 
of the Wollos. 

March 31, 1842 — As I wished to depart from Gatha, 
I went to the house of Adara Bille to obtain permission ; 
but I was told that the Wodacha was not yet finished. 
I have made mention before of this religious ceremony, 


which makes the people quite mad. In the afternoon 
I was called by Adara Bille. I took the liberty of 
begging him to let me go to Dair or to Adamic Dima, 
his Governor of the frontier, till the messengers should 
arrive ; but he answered, that I should never mention 
this subject before the arrival of the messengers ; that 
he was very sorry about my delay, but that he could 
not help me, as he was afraid of the anger of the 
King of Shoa. I saw now clearly that I could not 
rely on his friendship, and that he was going to play 
me some trick ; but he, observing that I w^as dissatis- 
fied with his beha^^om•, again assumed a friendly air. 

April 1 — As this day was Friday, I could not see 
the Chieftain before three o^ clock on account of the 
Wodacha, which he strictly observes. I had seen this 
morning a messenger of the King of Shoa, who had 
lately been sent to Gondar to the Etcheghue (Head of 
the monks), and who was now on his return to Shoa. 
Although he had been absent for five months, yet 
Adara Bille did not prevent him from prosecuting his 
way, nor state that he fii'st wanted the permission of 
the King of Shoa before he could depart to Dair ; but 
on the contrary, the messenger had been ordered and 
encouraged by Adara Bille to depart immediately. I 
mentioned this case to the Chieftain ; but he said that 
this man was an old acquaintance of his, and that he 
was the King's messenger, whom he could not prevent 
from departing whenever he liked. I then complained 
of the little food which had been given to my animals. 


which the cunning robber had ordered his servants to 
place in his own stable. 

The proceedings of Adara Bille began to excite my 
suspicions, which I could not conceal from some of 
my most faithful servants, I thought it very remark- 
able, that wherever I went I was accompanied by a ser- 
vant of Adara Billc, who appears to have guessed what 
I intended to do ; namely, to escape at night. Every 
movement of myself and servants was watched over ; 
and when I wanted to buy something, the watchmen 
said, " Why disperseyouthemoney ?" Many sayings of the 
people coming to my ears, made me still more dubious 
of Adara Bille' s proceedings. A man who begged for 
charity before our doors, wanted a dollar, which of 
course was refused. He then said, " You do not know 
whether you will leave this place in safety, or whether 
you will become a beggar like myself." I could not 
forget these words, though I thought that the man 
had contrived them to stir up my liberality. 

Under these circumstances I judged it proper and 
necessary to secure my baggage against any attack 
which Adara Bille might openly attempt upon it, be- 
cause I could not think that he would act so cunningly. 
I thought that if he had made up his mind to plunder me, 
he would do so openly ; and for that we were prepared 
every moment with our guns, as Adara Bille was well 
aware of. But he, observing that I looked through his 
scheme, feigned still greater courteousness and amity 
than before, as the moment was not yet arrived to 


strike the blow which he had prepared against me. 
He sent every moment to inquire after my health, and 
procured pronsions for us in abundance. Sometimes 
he sent to console me in my distress, as he called my 
situation, and that he was himself distressed at the 
detention of om' messengers to the Governor of Dair. 
Though I knew that there was much deception in 
these messages, yet I cou.ld not think that he would 
carry his dissimulation so far. However, I was con- 
firmed in my resolution to escape with the principal 
part of my baggage. The sen^ants to whom I com- 
municated this plan, remonstrated, by saying, that 
Adara Bille would not plunder me, and that my escape 
without any reason would give me a bad name : how- 
ever, if I would insist, I should at all events wait for 
the answer from Dair. Finding that there was much 
truth in this remonstrance, I delayed my intended 
flight till it was too late to put it into execution. 

April 2, 1842 — The day on which the dark clouds of 
our critical situation were to be discharged, approach- 
ed. The work of darkness, the diabolical hypocrisy 
of Adara Bille, was about to be disclosed. I had be- 
gun to read, for my edification, the book called " Com- 
munications from the Kingdom of God," published in 
Germany by Professor Shubert. The interesting nar- 
ratives contained in it gave me mucli comfort and 
encouragement. Having finished the reading, I 
changed my clothes, as I found the old ones very in- 
convenient, and partly worn out. At that time I did 


not know that without this change my long journey after- 
ward would have been still more painful and precarious. 

About ten o'clock the messengers arrived; but I 
was surprised at learning that the Governor of Dair 
had given no positive answer regarding my return. 
Of course he had never been asked about it. But I 
was still more astonished at learning from my man 
that he had been imprisoned on the frontier^ and had 
not been permitted to go to Dair in company with the 
servant of Adara Bille. This circumstance^ of which 
nobody would give me any explanation, increased my 
suspicion. When I asked the messenger of Adara 
Bille about the answer which he had received from the 
Governor of Dair, he was silent, and only said, " You 
have no other friend or relation except God." 

I then decided to escape during the approaching 
night. I packed up separately those things which 
were of value, and which were not too heavy, viz : the 
money, most of the clothes, instruments, important 
papers, &c. ; while I left the ammunition-box, having 
taken as many cartridges as I thought would be suffi- 
cient on the road. I also left most of the books, 
which I knew he would not touch. I intended to leave 
the house silently at midnight, so that I might be able 
to reach the frontier of Shoa about daybreak. I did 
not expect any resistance on the frontier on the part 
of Adamie Dima, who would easily have been frightened 
by our weapons. 

But Adara Bille hastened to anticipate my plan. 


by the execution of his artful scheme. He called me 
about three o'clock p.m., and said that the Governor 
of Daii- did not object to my retui-n to Shoa, if circum- 
stances had prevented me from proceeding to Gondarj 
and that he had instantly despatched a messenger, in- 
forming the King of my embarrassment on the road, 
and my retm-n to Shoa. Adara Bille communicated 
this news to me with such cheerfidness and confidence, 
tliat he made me hesitate regarding the execution of 
my plan for the coming night. He said, "Be rejoiced, 
because you will go to-morrow : you will leave me for 
ever." I thought it prudent to delay my escape till 
the next night, in case he should not fulfil his promise 
of sending me off in the morning. Besides, I had a 
sick servant, who could not go with us this night. I 
asked Adara Bille, in a positive manner, whether I 
should be off to-morrow ; and he swore, by the life of 
Sahela Selassich, that I should. I then walked off, 
quite satisfied. He inmiediatcly sent a servant with a 
fresh supply of provisions, which, he said, would serve 
me on my road to Shoa. One hour had scarcely elapsed 
before he sent again, saying, that if I wanted anything 
more I need only point it out, and it should imme- 
diately be presented to me. 

As I wished to depart early the next morning, 1 
went to bed about eight o'clock in the evening, and 
ordered my servants to do the same. Already slumber- 
ing, I was awakened by a servant of Adara Bille ; who 
invited me to call upon him, as he wished to take a 


final leave of me, as he would probably be in bed or 
busy when I should start in the morning. This invita- 
tion, being given so late, puzzled me a little, and I 
intended to refuse ; but thinking that this would be 
the last annoyance which Adara would give me, I got 
up, intending to settle the business as quickly as possi- 
ble. At the same time, all the servants were invited, 
except one, who was to watch the baggage. We con- 
sulted whether we should take our arms with us or 
not ; but we decided that Adara's house was so close, 
that our appearance in arms would be improper, par- 
ticularly as it was the last time we should see the 
Chieftain. We therefore went without our arms. 

When Adara Bille saw me entering the room, he 
made a bow, and said that I had given him infinite 
pleasure in accepting his invitation. The only reason, 
he said, why he had called me so late, was, because he 
would probably be busy to-morrow, and unable to take 
a personal leave of me ; and because he was desu-ous 
once more of my conversation, which had always de- 
hghted him. He then asked whether he could see 
with my spectacles ; and when I told him that most 
probably he could not, as his eyes were not weakened 
like mine, he begged me to allow him to tr}\ He 
attempted; but of course could not see anything. He 
then said, " You have told me this before," and re- 
stored the spectacles. He then wanted to try my 
boots ; but in this also he was disappointed, though I 
had told him that every boot must be made according to 


the size of the individual. Then he asked^ whether^ in my 
country^ Christians eat with Mahoraedans. I replied, 
that there were no Mahomcdans in my country ; but 
that, supposing there were, we should not hesitate to 
eat with them, as no food which enters the mouth can 
make a man unclean, but that which comes forth from 
the heart, \iz. plunder, abuse, fornication, murder, &c. 
He continued asking, and our conversation was pro- 
longed. I at last got tired, and expressed my desire to 
wish him good night and good bye. But he, hearing 
this, said, " Do not go yet, my father ; I have not yet 
been delighted enough : you must eat and drink more, 
as you have scarcely taken anything since you entered 
my room." After a few minutes, I repeated my desire 
to go home, and then got up ; when he, seeing my 
intention to leave him, went into a small cabinet behind 
the bedstead on which he was sitting. As soon as he 
had entered, his servants fell upon nic and my people, 
as if a signal had been given for the purpose. The 
man who had seized my arm said, "You are a pri- 
soner : give surety that you will not escape." My 
servants, as well as myself, were astonished at this 
strange proceeding. 

At first, I took the whole scene for an expedient of 
Adara Bille to prove my intrepidity and courage ; but 
I soon found that the Wollo Chieftain made no sjiort 
with me or my people. They took me out of Adara's 
room, into a small house which had been already 
arranged for my prison. They first allowed me, how- 


ever, to see the small cottage in which my servants 
were confined. I was then separated from them, and 
conducted to my private jail. There I was ordered to 
give np all my clothes, and the contents of my pockets. 
As I hesitated to do this, my guards declared that they 
were ordered by Adara Bille to put me to death, if I 
did not instantly give up all that I had with me. At 
the same time they snatched from me my Abyssinian 
cloak. I appealed in vain to the justice and friendship 
of Adara Bille. "Give up the treasures which you 
have with you," was the continual clamom- of the 
plundering soldiers. " You must die immediately, if 
you conceal the least of your property." The female 
slaves, who were grinding meal in a corner of the 
room, began to lament and cry aloud. WTien the 
soldiers endeavoured to take off my boots, shirt, and 
trousers, I obstinately refused, till they at last desisted, 
most probably not knowing how to take them off without 
cutting them to pieces. However, they examined mevery 
closely, in order to discover whether I had any money 
or any thing else. Unfortunately a dollar, with the keys 
of my boxes, and my penknives were discovered, and 
immediately taken. Also a small copy of the English 
New Testament with some notes of the day was found 
and taken, though I entreated them to leave this, which 
I considered a greater treasure than any thing else, as 
it contained the Word of God. But whatever fell into 
their hands, they would not give me back. I remem- 
bered the proceedings of the raging multitude toward 


my Saviour before Pontius Pilate : His example was the 
only treasm-e wliich strengthened me in this dreadful 
moment, when even my life was at stake. I en- 
deavoured several times to remind them of death, and 
the judgment hereafter ; but they had neither eyes nor 
minds for this application. " Give up your money," 
was theii- cry. A short time afterward, one of my 
boxes, which they could not open, was brought in, and 
I was ordered to open it. I patiently performed this, 
when the box was taken to Adara Bille, who examined 
its contents, and afterward sent it back with the order 
that I should shut it up again. From that moment I 
never saw the box, nor any other part of my property. 
As it was very cold, and the little fire was not of 
much use, I ventured to ask for my Abyssinian cloak. 
A soldier acquainted Adara Bille with my request, and 
the cloak was restored. I could not ascertain anything 
of my poor servants that night : the slaves, who were 
with me in the room, did not venture to communicate 
with me. The only consolation which they gave me 
was, that I should not be murdered, and that my 
people would not be sold as slaves, as I had expected. 
As it was already very late, and being tired and tor- 
mented with anxiety, I lay down on the ground ; but 
sleep fled from my eyes. My mind was engaged in 
sighing after the support of Ilim who knows the 
afflictions of His servants and children. I begged Hini 
to prcj)are me for a hapjiy entrance into the kingdom 
of heaven, if this should be my last night on earth. 


The room was full of watchmen, others were posted 
around the outside of the house, while others watched 
the fence and walls, Adara Bille probably being afraid 
of my escape. A soldier lay over my legs, another 
close to my head, and one on either side : these lay 
upon the ends of my cloak. Believing that I had 
fallen asleep, as I made no movement, the soldiers be- 
gan to talk in the Galla Language, which they probably 
thought I could not understand. Some of them dis- 
approved of Adara Bille's behaviour, which would com- 
promise him in the whole countiy ; while others said, 
that he had done right in plundering the White Man. 
Others thought that I should be killed, lest Sahela 
Selassieh and Ras Ali should hear of what Adara Bille 
had done ; but others advised that I should be sent to 
the road of Tehooladere and Yechoo, when I should 
either die of fatigue on the road, or be killed by the 
Raia Gallas. You may suppose that this conversation 
was not very pleasant to me ; but I inwardly said to 
my Heavenly Father, " Men are all liars ; not my will, 
nor theirs shall be done, but only Thine." 

April 3, 1842 — I arose this morning with the feelings 
of a prisoner. But I considered myself a priso?ier of 
the Lord, whose cause I was sent to promote in Abys- 
sinia ', and resolved, however He should dispose of my 
life, to submit with resignation, as neither life nor 
property belonged to me, but only to Him. I asked 
for one of my servants to be admitted to my prison, in 
order that I might have the company of one who 


could understand me iu my afflicted situation. Dimtza- 
Roophael, who was one of my eldest scholars at Anko- 
bar, was consequently allowed to converse with me, and 
to serve me. Through him I learned that my servants 
had passed a very restless night, having been deprived 
of nearly all their clothes ; and that they had been put 
into a small cottage, which did not protect them from 
the severe coldness of the night. The boy who was 
with the baggage when it was plundered by the soldiers 
informed Dimtza-Roophael that the soldiers came into 
the room with lights, took away every thing they found, 
and brought them before Adara Bille, who examined 
and counted the different articles, and then sent them 
to his store-house. They then took the boy and put 
him into the cottage where the other servants were, 
narrowly watched by Adara's servants. 

I entertained in vain the hope that I might find 
access to Adara Bille, in order to put him in mind of 
the assurance of friendship which he had given me. 
After sun-rise he departed, in order to meet the Gove- 
nor of Dair between Shoa and his territory. It ap- 
pears to be a custom for iidara Bille to pay a visit to 
the new Governor of Dair on the frontier. Habta 
Michael, the Governor whom I found in Dair, had been 
appointed by the King of Shoa only a week before I 
arrived there. After Adara Bille had set out, I was 
allowed to change my prison for my former house, and 
to converse with my servants, who then told mc what 
they had suffered last night j that they believed that I 


had been murdered^, and that they themselves would be 
sold as slaves. Their hearts were moved toward the 
Father of all mercy when they saw me walking into 
their room. 

When the people of the village heard of my being 
still alive, they came in great numbers to express their 
sorrow at my painful condition. There was not one 
person who spoke or acted rudely toward me ; even 
the soldiers, who were not very tender last night, were 
now discontent with Adara Bille's proceedings, of which 
the whole town disapproved. Most of them wept, and 
said, " He has neither father, nor mother, nor friends; 
and he who pretended to be his friend, has plundered 
him. May God prove his friend V Others said, " All 
earthly things are perishable. Yesterday he was a 
prince ; but to-day he is a prisoner." I took the op- 
portunity of speaking to them about the frailty of all 
human happiness, and that the only true happiness is 
communion with God. 

It afforded me infinite satisfaction at having regained 
my little New Testament. The soldier who had taken 
it from me, brought it back to me, and said, " Forgive 
me, and pray for me." I showed it to the assembled 
multitude, and said, " This is my greatest treasure, 
because this book shows me the way to my eternal hap- 
piness, which no robber can take from me." 

Several persons brought me some food, as my daily 
allowances were now reduced so much that they were 
quite insufficient for myself and servants. Among 


Others^ Fatima, the Chiefs head v;iie, took an interest 
in my distressing situation. She sent a seiTant to tell 
me that she could do nothing but weep ; and that she 
had endeavoured to dissuade Adara Bille from plunder- 
ing me, but had been unable to prevail on him. In 
fact everybody pitied me. Only Adara Bille was un- 
pitiful, as all my goods had fallen into his hand, nobody 
sharing with him, except those Mahomedan priests who 
pretended to have obtained a revelation on the Wodacha 
that Adara should plunder me, IMany persons asked 
me anxiously, how I should be able to reach my coun- 
tiy. Others said, " Do not be afraid : Adara Bille will 
not kill you ; your property only is lost, but not your 
life. You are the first stranger whom he has plun- 
dered; he has never done so before." Others said, 
"Do not be angiy, because Satan has entered into 
Adara Bille's heart." 

The robber did not return this evening from his ex- 
cursion. "\Mien it was dark, I was ordered to return 
to my prison ; but my servants were allowed to stay in 
our house under a strong guard of soldiers. 

April 4, 1842 — I was allowed to return from prison to 
my servants. I learned that Adara Bille had very much 
regretted that he had not plundered me before I went 
to Iman Liban. I heard also that some Chiefs had 
sent to him to know why he had allowed the White 
Man to go through his country without having killed 
or plundered him. 

Adara Bille arrived about ten o'clock ; but I was 

384 ADARA bille's treacherous treatment. 

not admitted to his presence, though I frequently asked 
for an audience with him. My boy Dimtza-Roophael 
was ordered to be the mediator between him and my- 
self, in carrying messages from one to the other. I 
solicited very earnestly for a small sum of money, to 
purchase provisions on the road ; but the robber 
replied that it would not signify if 1 had to beg for 
my daily bread. Only one of my worst mules was left 
for me ; but I could not mount the animal, and was 
afterward compelled on the road to sell it for food and 
a lodging at night, which the Chief of a village had 
offered to me when I was in the greatest necessity. I 
made a fui'ther request for my papers. Fortunately, 
my Amharic Dictionary, which I had collected in Shoa 
mth great trouble, was restored to me, with a few let- 
ters. In fact, most of the paper which was written on, 
was restored ; while the blank paper was kept by the 
robber. The loss of paper afterward put me to great 
inconveniences, as I was obliged in consequence to 
abridge my remarks on the road, and to write on reeds, 
which were spoiled by the rain. 

April 5, 1842 — We were still uncertain what would 
become of us. Reports were spread this morning, that 
Adara Bille would keep my servants as his slaves, and 
send me off alone to a road of which nobody could 
give any information. This report drove my people 
almost to despair, and made my own heart ache so 
much, that I could not refrain from weeping with 
them. They said that they would rather die than be 


separated from me. However, the Lord gave me 
strength to console my heart and that of my afflicted 

About nine o'clock a servant of Adara Bille appeared, 
with an order that we should leave the house, and fol- 
low the six soldiers, who were to conduct us beyond 
the territory of Adara Bille. He did not tell us which 
way we should be conducted, and I could not venture to 
ask, as Adara Bille might have become angry. Silent, 
and defenceless, we followed the soldiers, who went 
before us with spears, shields, and swords. Almost the 
whole population of Gatira was assembled. Most oC 
them wept ; others wished us a happy journey ; none 
praised their Chief ; and many expected a punishment 
from Heaven would be inflicted upon the country in 
consequence of the injustice shown toward strangers. 

At some distance from Gatira I wanted to halt till 
my boy Dimtza-Roophael should join our party. I 
thought that he had some business with Adara, and 
that he would soon join us ; but to my astonishment 
and grief I learned that the robber had detained the 
boy in order to show hitn the use of the stolen goods. 
I have reason to believe that it was partly the fault of 
the boy himself that he was detained. Though he had 
always been attached to me, and though I frequently 
thought tliat the Word of God was working in his 
heart ; yet when the hour of temptation and distress 
was at hand, the real state of his mind was revealed. 

Having received tliis intelligence from the soldiers, I 


gave up all hope of the boy's joming om- party. It 
appears that he had hidden himself when we left the 
house. Now I u.nderstood why Adara Bille, before I 
was plundered, always honoured him so much, and 
preferred him to my other servants. May the Lord 
deliver him from the snares of Satan, and from the 
uncleanness and dishonesty of his heart ; and may the 
seed of everlasting life, which for two years has been 
sown in his mind, preserve him from the temptation 
of apostacy to Mahomedanism ! 

As a contrast to this boy may be mentioned the 
manly behaviour of another, who was called by Adara 
Bille before we left Gatira, and asked whether he would 
remain with him or not. The robber flattered him 
with tender words and worldly preferment ; but the 
boy wept, and declared that Adara should kill him on 
the spot before he would leave his master, who had in- 
structed him in the Word of God. The robber then 
asked, whether any of my servants w^ere slaves, who 
would in that case have been considered as actual pro- 
perty, and immediately taken by the robber. The boy 
answered in the negative ; but seeing that Adara would 
not believe him, he took dust from the ground, and 
scattered it in the air, saying, that if he had not spoken 
truth he would become like the dispersed dust. The 
robber then sent him back to me. Adara- Bille knew 
that I had no slaves, as I had frequently told him that 
we hate slavery ; but Adara thought that I should fol- 
low the practice of Greeks, Armenians, and other 


Abyssinian pilgrims, who sometimes take slaves to the 
coast to pay their passage-money. 

I must not forget to remark, that Adara Bille before 
om* departure this morning, dispatched the general of 
his gunners to the King of Shoa ^yith three match- 
lock-gims. It was evidently his intention to cover his 
diabolical deeds with the show of outward submission 
to the King of Shoa, in case his Majesty should hear 
of the robbery which he had committed against me. 
But how will this messenger and Adara Bille be aston- 
ished, when they learn that I have ^\Titten to his ]\Ia- 
jesty from the Lake Haik, describing the behaviour of 
Adara BiUe. If his Majesty has no share in the whole 
contrivance of Adara Bille, I have no doubt that my 
property will be restored. 

As long as Gatira was in our sight, we frequently 
looked backed to see whether the robber might not send 
a messenger with orders to our counter-marching to 
complete our destruction. We marched as fast as we 
could, and as quick as our guardians would allow us, 
as we were entirely in their hands. AVe were as de- 
fenceless as any one could be. We were really without 
staves, money, or change of clothes, according to Matt. 
X. One of my senants could not walk well, in con- 
sequence of a sore in his legs ; but the soldiers drove 
him on, and when he remonstrated, they said, " Are 
you not our cattle, with which wc can do as we like " ? 

As well as I could ascertain, from the position of the 
sun, my compass having been taken by the robber, we 

S 2 


marclied north-east-east. It was now evident that Adara 
Bille intended to send us to the road of Tehooladere, I 
was quite indifferent regarding the way, as I could not 
lose any thing more ; and indeed I could only profit from 
being conducted to a road hitherto untrodden by Eu- 
ropeans. I was so strengthened and consoled in my 
mind by the word given to Abraham, Gen. xii. 1., that 
I could dismiss all my apprehensions of the luiknown 
road, its dangers, and hardships. I went on with a 
mind as cheerful and comforted as if no serious matter 
had happened. How truly says the Apostle John, that 
faith is the victory that overcometh the ivorld. But 
this faith must be a work of God in our hearts. 

Our road led us continually over a level country, 
which however was but little cultivated. In general, 
nature seems to have refused to the Wollo Gallas that 
fertile country, and that state of wealth, w^hich the 
Gallas enjoy in the south of Shoa. This is perhaps 
the reason of the thievish character for which the 
Wollo Gallas are truly blamed. We saw veiy few vil- 
lages, and the population cannot be considerable in this 
part of Adara Billets territory. We crossed several 
rivulets, which presented to us their cool and delicious 

In the afternoon we were joined on the road by the 
robber^s chief priest, who was returning to his village, 
not having obtained any new revelation concerning my 
party, as all our property was lost. His name is Tahir. 
On meeting me, he gave his compliments with a smiling 


face, and said, " If you will come with me, I will give 
you something to eat and di'ink ; but your servants may 
look out for themselves by begging in the village." I 
put very little confidence in the cunning man ; but he 
did more than I expected ; for he gave us a house, lighted 
a fire, it being cold and rainy, and gave me to eat and 
to drink as well as my servants, who did not find 
any thing in the ^^llage. I ate with the greatest appe- 
tite, being rather hungry from the confinement in the 
prison. The reason why I could so easily accustom 
mvself to the Abyssinian manner of living was, that I 
was obliged either to eat what was to be obtained, or to 
die of hunger. I should have been glad to have eaten 
raw meat if I had been able to procure it eveiy day. 
Necessity had compelled me to leave ofi" what many 
oriental travellers attempt from curiosity and other 
motives. But I think that the natives should conform 
to us, and not we to them. AVhat I mean is this, that 
many travellers appear to be very proud of being able 
to live like an Arab or an Abyssinian, eating with the 
hands, and doing away with all rules of civilized nations. 
But in this they are mistaken, as savages must also see 
in these indifferent and temporal respects the supe- 
riority of civilized Christian nations. It is another 
thing, if you are in circumstances Avhere you cannot 
keep up the rules of civilization ; then you must do as 
you can, and be content with the situation in which 
Pro\idence has placed you. 

April 6, 1812 — Early this morning we left the village 


of our host Taliir. When saying good bye, I expressed 
my thanks for his hospitality, which I could not now 
reward, as he was well aware. He said " Never mind : 
it does not signify. I have my share in the property 
which Adara at my advice on the Wodacha has taken 
from you.^' He laughed, and walked oif. This is some- 
thing of the character of the Wollo Gallas, namely, 
friendly cunniugness and rapacity. 

About eight o'clock we crossed a rivulet, and about 
ten o'clock we left for ever the territory of Adara 
Bille, having entered into that of Berroo Loobo. We 
first passed Totola, the celebrated market-place of which 
I have spoken before. Totola means, properly speak- 
ing, the whole beautiful valley and district into which 
we had entered, having left the country of Adara. It 
is intersected in the middle by the river Gherado, which 
runs from south to north-west to the river Bashilo. On 
both sides of the valley is a range of hills more or less 
elevated, and covered with juniper-trees. These hills 
are covered with hamlets and villages. The whole 
scenery is so beautiful, that I cannot recollect ever 
having seen such a fine sight in Abyssinia. You can 
scarcely imagine that you are in Africa. The cool cli- 
mate — the fresh and healthy air — the green plain, 
watered artificially by aqueducts from the river — the 
activity of the inhabitants in cultivation — the quantity 
of cattle grazing — and the multitude of travelling mer- 
chants whom you meet on the road Avith their goods — 
all these and many other things give the place an 


Em'opean appearance. It is a great pity that such a 
magnificent district of ten or fifteen miles is not in the 
hands of a better people and government. I waited 
several times to rest on the way side to see more of this 
pretty scene ; but om* soldiers di-ove us on, repeatedly 
saying, " Are you not our cattle, with which we can do 
as we please ? " The principal market places of Worra 
Kallo are, Totola, AnchaiTo, Regghe, Dawe, Kallo, 
and Fellano. 

Om' guardians said, that they were ordered to accom- 
pany us as far as the river Mille, where there is a wood- 
like wilderness, in which they evidently intended to plun- 
der the rest of our clothes, and thus leave us to cer- 
tain death. But Providence watched om* lives. About 
twelve o'clock we crossed the river Berkona, and entered 
into the territory of Tehooladere, which is governed by 
Amade, or Abba Shaol. The latter is the name of the 
Chieftain's favourite horse, which has given him the same 
name. The Berkona was not more than twenty feet 
in breadth at the part where we crossed. Its som-ces 
were pointed out to me as rising at the foot of a hill 
called Boroo, about six miles from the place where 
we crossed the river. Near the hill Boroo is a vil- 
lage called Kombolcha; therefore the people gene- 
rally say that the sources are at Kombolcha, where 
there is a marsh gi-ound. The Berkona was on our 
passage at a very low height of water, being about a 
span in depth. It runs first to the south, then turns 
round to the east, near Ayn Amba, and finally joins 


the Hawash in the country of the Adals. Not far from 
our passage^ the Berkona forms a cataract. Most 
of the waters of Worra Kallo joins the Berkona, a very 
important fact, which shows that we had passed this 
forenoon the watershed, being between the river Ghe- 
rado, which runs to the river Bashilo, which goes to the 
Nile, while the Berkona goes to the east to the Hawash. 
The continuation of the range of mountains observed 
in the east of Shoa is consequently the range which 
runs through Worra Kallo toward Ambassel, leaving 
the Berkona in the east, and the Bashilo in the west. 
This most important fact throws a great light upon our 
maps of Abyssinia, because the watershed of a coun- 
try, if it is once correctly known, throws a light upon 
many other subjects which are in question. 

Before we crossed the river Berkona, we met very 
providentially a merchant coming from Totola. This man 
being struck with the appearance of a white stranger 
on foot without any means of defence, drew near 
to us as if he were concerned about our situation and 
miserable appearance. Seeing this, I endeavoured to 
walk a little before our guardians, in order to speak 
to him at some distance. I acquainted him with what 
had occurred to me at Adara Biile's, and of his soldiers 
being ordered to conduct us to Ali Gongool, a Governor 
of Amade, the Chieftain of the tribe of Tehooladerc, 
into whose territory we had entered after we had crossed 
the Berkona. I must not forget to remark, that the 
only thing which we could learn from the soldiers re- 


gardiug Adara Bille's secret^ was, that he had sent the 
day before ahorse as a present to Ali Gongool, and that 
he had probably arranged with this Governor what 
should be done with us on the road. The merchant 
therefore thought it very strange that Adara Bille had 
applied to this Governor, and not to Amade ; and he 
advised us positively to refuse proceeding with our 
guardians to Ali Gongool, who had no right to dispose 
of us without his master's knowledge; and that we 
should insist upon being conducted to the Chieftain 
himself; and if the soldiers objected to our request, 
that we should set up a cry, whereupon the country 
people would speedily bring us help and conduct us to 
Amade. This advice, under God's gracious direction, 
saved our lives; and I afterward felt most grateful 
to the adviser, although he soon left us, and I had 
nothing to reward him with, but I prayed that He who 
had sent the man might reward him with heavenly 

On this occasion I learned that the Chieftain of one 
tribe has no right to send a stranger under the escort 
of his own pcojjle beyond the frontier of another tribe, 
because in doing so it would appear as if he had as- 
sumed a superiority over the neighbouring tribe. The 
next Chieftain must do you justice, if you make your 
complaint to him of having been injured by a neigh- 
bouring Chief. The merchant therefore expressed his 
great regret at our not having ajjpealed to Berroo Loobo 
in going through his territory, 
s 5 


We approached Mofa^ the capital of Amade, which 
is built on a steep and high hill, from which there is 
a pretty view of the lake Haik, of which I shall speak 
afterward. The soldiers of Adara Bille observing that 
we were marching toward Mofa strongly objected to 
it, and a quarrel arose between us. We declared that 
we had nothing to do with Ali Gongool, who was not 
the lord of the country ; but they replied, that they 
had received orders from Adara Bille to deliver us into 
the hands of Ali Gongool, who would send iis with a 
large escort to the river Mille and to the wilderness 
between Tehooladere and Yechoo. As the quarrel ran 
high, and the soldiers drew their swords to cut us to 
pieces, we cried out to the people of a hamlet close to 
the way side. Several villagers immediately appeared, 
and inquired what was the matter with us. We en- 
treated them to conduct us to the house of Amade in 
order that we might acquaint him with our circum- 
stances. The villagers having learned our misfortunes, 
promised to comply with our wish ; but the soldiers ob- 
jected so vehemently, that we were on the eve of en- 
gaging with them with the weapons which the stony 
field furnished us. In order, however, to avoid an en- 
gagement, with which the duty of my message of peace 
in the Missionary cause would not at all agi*ee, I pro- 
posed to the soldiers, that they should dispatch one of 
their companions to inform Ali Gongool of our refusal 
to proceed to him. This was done ; and his answer 
was, that as we had already appealed to Amade, we 


should go to him, and be content with what he should 
decide in our business. Ali Gongool acted prudently 
indeed, as his master would midoubtedly have punished 
him if he knew that he had executed orders received 
from any other Chief but by himself, and had refused 
people who had appealed to him. 

Jo}-fully, therefore, we went to Amade, who, having 
heard what we told him of Adara Bille, declared that 
he was a very wicked man, because he had not only 
done wi'ong in taking our property, but had also 
offended him by sending his soldiers through his terri- 
toiy, to which he had no right. Amade also declared, 
that if the soldiers of Adara Bille did not instantly re- 
turn, he would put them in prison. Concerning our- 
selves, he said, that we should be at liberty to go or 
stay wherever we liked. Adara Bille was blamed by 
every body who heard of our being robbed by him. 
Though jNIahomedans of the same nation as Adara 
Bille, yet they with one accord pitied our miserable 
situation, and took part with us. The soldiers of Adara 
Bille walked off immediately, without having been 
treated in the least as messengers of Adara Bille. We 
had regained our precious liberty, of which we had 
been deprived since our imprisonment on the 2nd of 

With feehngs of hearty thanksgivings to my pro- 
tecting Father in Heaven, I left the court-yard of 
Amade, who although he did not provide us with food 
as we had expected, yet had rendered us the most im- 


portant service in a most satisfactory and speedy man- 
ner. Had I known that the matter would have been 
decided by Amade to my satisfaction, I would not have 
dispatched a servant to the Alaca of the Convent of 
Haik for the purpose of informing him of the circum- 
stances which had occured to me in Adara Bille's house. 
I had dispatched my man before we saw the Chieftain 
Amade, thinking that the soldiers might perhaps pre- 
vail on conveying us to Ali Gongool, who I knew would 
treat me according the secret orders sent to him by 
Adara. My man pretending to have some business in 
the jungle, availed himself of this opportunity to escape 
to Haik, while the soldiers were unaware of his ab- 
sence, and disclosed our plan only when it was too late 
for them to prevent its execution. Having appeared 
before Amade, they were out done in every respect, and 
instead of returning in triumph to their master with 
our clothes and other trophies of victory, they were 
obliged to return with grief at the strange escape of 
their cattle, as they had called us. 

Although I had now a long and difficult journey be- 
fore me, yet I thought very little of it, my mind being 
engaged in expressing my indescribable feelings of joy 
at the deliverance from the hands of the robber Adara 
Bille. What must be the joy and happiness of those 
who have been innocently condemned to long slavery 
or imprisonment ! If those who are still averse to the 
abolition of the slave trade, or who are only coldly co- 
operating with the abolitionists, could feel what I have 


experienced for a few daysj they would certainly exert 
themselves more against a practice which is truly called 
a monster of mankind. 

It appeared to me from observation, that the eastern 
tribes of the Wollo Gallas consist of a better set of 
people and government, and possess greater wealth, 
than the tribes of the west. The western Gallas are 
continually lurking on the way sides, till they observe 
a caravan or a single traveller. They frequently run 
after you to the distance of a mile, in order to inquire 
after the state of things of other tribes, or to learn 
who you are, and whither you are going. Their curio- 
sity is then converted into robbery, if they think them- 
selves strong enough to overcome the travelling party. 
This clearly shows a trait in their character, which is 
truly blamed with committing robberies and hostilities 
against each other. The people of the eastern tribes 
may be less blameable in this respect, as they have 
more intercoiu'se with the other parts of Abyssinia, 
being more concerned in carrying on some trade, for 
which a considerable number of market places have 
been selected, as I have before mentioned. Travellers 
have always been more protected among them ; but 
whether European travellers would be treated like the 
Abyssinians is another question. The eastern tribes 
also assume a greater show of dependency on the ruhr 
of Gondar than the western tribes do. Their rulers 
are principally invested with a lineal succession, and 
endcavoui- on this account to keep up their country in 


better order, and their people submit themselves more, 
having been accustomed to obedience for a long time 
to the descendants of one ruling family. This is evi- 
dently the case in the tribes of Worra Himano and 

The nature of the territory of Tehooladere is most 
conspicuous and excellent, and gave me the appearance 
of those Galla countries which I have traversed in the 
south of Shoa. The soil of Tehooladere is excellent 
for cultivation, if there were only hands enough to 
cultivate the black fallow ground. I was told that the 
population of this tribe was very considerable six years 
ago ; but that it was considerably thinned, first, by the 
cholera, which raged six years ago almost over the 
whole of Abyssinia and the countries beyond ; secondly, 
by a famine which laid waste so many tracts of Abys- 
sinian provinces ; and finally, by a war, in which AH 
Marie, the former Chieftain of this tribe, was engaged 
with the Chiefs of Worra Kallo, Lagga Gliora, and 
Worra Himano, who assisted the present Chief of 
Tehooladere against Ali Marie, his relation, who was 
entitled to the government by right. 

The aspiring character and bravery of Ali Marie 
was feared and contemplated with jealousy by all the 
Chieftains around; and therefore it was considered 
practical on theii- part to plunge him into ruin. Had 
he been able to maintain his power, he would un- 
doubtedly have united all the Wollo tribes and have 
introduced a better system of government, for which 


he was well qualified. But at the same time he would 
have become a very dangerous neighbour to the Chris- 
tian rulers of Abyssinia, as he showed great attachment 
to the Mahomedan religion, in which he was educated. 
He is continually mo^^ng about from one place to an- 
other. He has been twice in Shoa, where he has been 
well received and dismissed by the King with large pre- 
sents. He has made several attempts to regain his 
power in Tehooladere ; but Avithout any considerable 
success, as the before-mentioned Chieftains anxiously 
watched his proceedings and movements. His capital 
was on the mount Gatara, opposite to IMofa, in the 
south-east. I saw fi'om Mofa the walls which he has 
built on his almost impregnable stronghold. He has 
distinguished himself by personal courage and bravery, 
and I was assured from good authority, that he has 
killed in one battle nearly 300 men with his own sword ; 
but notAA-ithstandiug his efforts of prowess, he could not 
stand against the prevailing forces of three powerful 
Chieftains of the neighbourhood. Perhaps he will avail 
himself of the present confusion in Abyssinia to regain 
the political importance which he enjoyed for a long 
time among the WoUo tribes, because it is well known 
in Abyssinia, that a man of influence must neither 
boast nor despair, as he who is great to-day, may be 
miserable to-mon'ow. And truly Abyssinia is the coun- 
try which most reminds us of the frailty of thrones, 
splendour, honours, and wealth. 

Tehooladere is rich in wood, and grass for cattle. 


The climate is finer, as the country is lower than that 
of the western tribes, although there are some high 
mountains. In geographical and historical respect, 
it has a certain celebrity, which I will presently men- 
tion. I have already mentioned that the river Berkona 
rises in the territory of Tehooladere. The lake Haik is 
also situated in this territory. This lake is one of the 
most important lakes of Abyssinia. Its Christian popu- 
lation gives it still more importance. A former great 
king of Abyssinia had established his seat in this coun- 
try as I shall mention hereafter. Before I enter, how- 
ever, into a description of this lake, I must mention ano- 
ther called Ardibbo, which I have never seen marked 
on the maps. This lake is in the tribe of Imam Faris, 
whose capital is in Gherfa. This tribe is situated be- 
tween the country of the Danakil in the east, and 
Worra Kallo and Tehooladere in the west. Imam Faris 
is said to be frequently engaged in war with Berroo 
Loobo. He is in the possession of a few field-pieces, 
which he has bought from merchants trading to Mocha. 
He is on good terms with the Danakil, and his terri- 
tory extends as far as a journey of four days from 
Aussa. If a traveller could succeed in penetrating to 
Abyssinia by way of Aussa, the former capital of the 
Kings of Adel, he might be able to obtain most valu- 
able information of the countries between the Danakil 
and those Apollo tribes through which I have travelled. 
He might be able to throw much light on the geogra- 
phy of these countries of old, and by this means he 


might make us better understand the accounts which 
we have of the annals of Abyssinia regarding the wars 
of its Christian rulers with the ]Mahomedan Kings of 

The lake Ardibbo, near Gherfa, is said to be not 
much less in circumference than Haik ; but there is 
no island in the Ardibbo. I must strongly recom- 
mend travellers attempting a journey to Abyssinia, to 
endeavour to the utmost to get in by way of Aussa, 
although I cannot conceal that this journey would be 
attended with many dangers. The traveller having 
arrived at Aussa from Tadjurra, could probably proceed 
either to Berroo Loobo of "\Yorra Kallo, or to Imam 
Faris of Gherfa. 

As the head servant of Amade, Chief of Tehoola- 
dere, had told us that there was a Christian village at 
the foot of Mofa, we resolved to pass the night at 
that place. From the capital of the Chief we had 
a very steep and long descent to the village ; but our 
feelings of joy and cheerfulness at ha^ing been deli- 
vered from the hands of Adara Bille's servants, made 
us forget every difficulty and fatigue. It was dark 
when we arrived in the village. A^'e applied to a mer- 
chant of Gondar, who kindly received us into his 
house, and provided us with food sufficient for our 
l)arty. Although I found only an imperfect form of 
Christianity among the villagers, yet I felt much easier, 
than was the case among the bigoted Mahomedans, 
with whom I had been living since my departure from 


Shoa. I learned from my host, that a report had spread 
over the country that a European had arrived in Shoa 
with a box, in which he carried his King. Others re- 
ported, that the King of the INIahomedans had arrived 
in Shoa ; and that the Mahomedan rulers of these 
countries having heard of the report, were going to 
send a message to the king, who came from the east, 
to offer their assistance to him against the Christians. 
These reports evidently allude to the arrival of the 
British Embassy in Shoa. Other parts of Abyssinia 
are full of strange reports regarding the English. 



April 7, 1842 — This morning the merchant with whom 
I had passed the night, started early from his home to 
visit the market of Ancharro, which I have mentioned 
before. He promised to send some intelHgencc to Shoa 
through merchants of AUo Amba in Efat, whom lie 


would see at AnchaiTO. I regretted that I was unable 
to give him a copy of the Holy Scriptvu-es, as he had 
expressed a great desire for it ; but I will send some 
copies through people going from Shoa to the lake 
Haik. The village, the name of which I have unfor- 
tunately forgotten, consists chiefly of trading inhabi- 
tants, who are all Christians. Their trade is carried 
on from Gondar through Worra Himano to the country 
of Berroo Loobo and to the territory of the Yechoos, 
^\ith articles which are found at Gondar. 

Having taken leave of our friend, we directed our 
course to the lake Haik. The road led us through a 
most beautiful and fertile valley, being rich of trees, 
grass, and rivulets. The soil was chiefly black ; but it 
is scantily cultivated, for the reasons which I have be- 
fore mentioned. They principally cultivate maize of 
diff"erent kinds. 

]\Iy joy on arriving near the shores of the lake was 
indeed great, as I had been desirous several years of 
visiting the Christians on the lake, and as the large 
mass of water reminded me again of the water-stock 
of the Red Sea, to which I had so often committed 
myself in former times, and to which the end of my 
joiu'ney would bring me again. How great will be the 
joy of a Christian, when, having overcome death, and 
triumphed over this visible world, he arrives on the 
stream of heavenly happiness, and when he is with 
those Christians who will enjoy this happiness to all 
eternity ! 


The Alaca of the Convent of Haik had been already 
informed of my occurences with Adara Bille, with whom 
he is personally acquainted. But when I arrived, I 
did not find him at home, as he was gone out on the 
principal road to the Yechoo country, believing that 
Adara's soldiers would not allow me to see him in lake 
Haik. He came to this conclusion from the circum- 
stance that I did not arrive yesterday evening, when 
he had expected me immediately after the arrival of 
my previous messenger. Not being permitted to cross 
over to the island in the lake without the Alaca's 
special orders, I was obliged to wait on shore till he 
returned. In the mean time I was engaged in con- 
templating the shores and the very interesting country 
around, and in inquiring after the state of things on 
the island. The multitude of people also, who assem- 
bled soon after my arrival, gave me an opportunity of 
speaking on many topics ; so that my long waiting for 
the Alaca was no lost time. 

The shores of the lake in the west and north are 
not high, nor steep ; but those of the south and east 
are sm-rounded by high and steep mountains. The 
circumference of the lake may amount to forty-five 
English miles. Several bays are observed extending 
inland a few hundred yards. The greatest extent of 
water is from east to west. The lake is full of water 
birds of different plumage. I was also told that it is 
rich in fish of a large size. The water is sweet, as may be 
expected from being a land-sea. The island, called 


Debra-Nagoodguad, (hill of thunder), is distant from 
the north-western main land about 260 yards, and 
might easily be battered by rifle-men. The anchoring 
place is called Mad-gebata, and the village, where you 
must halt before crossing over to the island, is called 
Debra-Mariam (hill of Mary.) This village is chiefly 
inhabited by the wives of such priests who are married, 
as by an ancient law no female is allowed to enter on 
the island. All the inhabitants around are Mahome- 
dans, who are not prevented however from visiting the 
island ; but their wives are under the same restrictions 
as those of the Christians. A number of acacia-trees 
are observed near the anchoring place, between the 
village and the lake. These trees afford a pleasant 
shade to those who must wait for the rafts taking them 
over to the island. The eastern mountains of the lake 
are inhabited by the tribe Worra-Babbo, which is 
governed by the Chief Ali Adam, who is dependent on 
Iman Liban. There is but little wood around the 
lake, except in the south-east, which is far off from 
the island ; but the inhabitants of the island cross 
the lake on rafts to fetch wood. Beyond the tribe 
Worra-Babbo is another tribe in the east, called Chaffat, 
and is independent. In the east of Chaffat is the 
country of the Danakil. 

The old Alaca Debille at last returned. I was de- 
lighted at seeing him again. I had made his acquain- 
tance a year ago, when he called upon me at Ankobar. 
I sent at that time a copy of the Amharic New Testa- 


ment to tlie churcli of the island. I also gave him a 
copy of the iEthiopic New Testament when I met him at 
Dair. Thus my name was pretty well known in Haik, 
as well as the object of my stay in Shoa. The Alaca 
took me over to the island on a raft, composed of a 
thick stratum of reeds. The raft was about twelve or 
fifteen feet in length, and about three or four feet in 
breadth. The whole stratum of reeds is tied together 
with ropes at both ends, and in the middle. Two 
rowers moved this curious machine, which carries 
about SLX men over to the island. The depth of the 
water increases with the distance from the shore. 
About one hundred yards from the main land the water 
is very deep till almost close to the island. I was told 
that on most places of the lake the bottom cannot be 
found; but although I would not object to this, I 
doubt whether they have ever taken the trouble to 
examine the depth of their lake, especially as they are 
unacquainted with the plummet. 

The western and northern winds raise high waves on 
the lake ; while the winds blowing from cast and south 
are prevented by the high mountains from displaying 
their full power over the water-heaps of the lake. As 
to the rise and formation of the lake, I am at a loss 
how to explain, as I could not learn whether there is 
any volcanic action in the neighbourhood, nor could I 
discover volcanic traces from the nature of the country 
around. I could not however examine the eastern and 
southern shores, being too far off from the island ; and 


I do not venture to judge from rocks scattered around 
the village Debra Mariam, as these may be ascribed to 
the destructive power of the violent annual rains. In 
my ojnnion, an observer should be careful in drawing 
a conclusion for the existence of former volcanos from 
his perceiving stones scattered around, as it is well 
kno\\Ti, which I could prove by facts, that the rains 
have demolished considerable hills. A traveller of late, 
who has not however been in Abyssinia dm-ing the 
rainy season^ seems to me to have been greatly mis- 
taken when he seemed to observe nothing but vol- 
canic traces in Shoa. 

It must be remarked, that the name " Haik " is a 
general expression, and means in JEthiopic " sea, " 
or rather " shore." I should think that this lake is 
in a straight line from Ankobar, perhaps a little more 
to the east. I did not observe that there were any 
shells on the shore, nor did I hear that there were on 
other parts of the coasts. There is plenty of grass in 
the water, where it is not of considerable depth ; and 
this is the place where the water birds are gathered in 
immense numbers, so that one shot would aflFord a great 
booty to the sportsman, if the prejudices of the inhabi- 
tants of the island would allow you to fire a gun. 
Their conviction of the sanctity of the island, in conse- 
quence of Tecla Haimanot's having resided on it, and 
blessed the water, seems to have produced this preju- 
dice. The same prejudice would be in your way if 
you attempted to kill a bird on the island, though I 


saw there several trees, on the branches of which was 
such a multitude of vultures, that I wondered the 
branches were not broken. 

Having arrived on the Island with the Alaca, I was 
first conducted to his house, and then to the Church 
consecrated to St. Stephen. It must be remarked, 
that this is not St. Stephen, the first martyr mentioned 
Acts ^•iii., but Abuna Stephen, who governed the 
Church of Abyssinia at a former period. The Church 
is rather large ; and the inside is embellished with the 
images of many saints and angels. St. George on 
horseback killing the dragon — the Virgin Mary hold- 
ing the child Jesus in her arms — St. Michael, &c., arc 
principally distinguished among the multitude of pic- 
tures. The priests also showed me the grave of their 
St. Stephen, and related of him many stories and mira- 
cles, as might be expected from an Abyssinian Saint, 
whose holiness and claim to esteem, in the eyes of an 
ignorant people, are entirely founded on such stories. 

The people of Haik, I was told, worshipped a ser])eut 
till Abuna Salama-Qaasieb came to the island and con- 
verted them to Christianity. Afterward, the island, 
or rather the hill Debra Egsier in the east of Haik, 
was the seat of King Del-Naod, who came from Tigre 
about the year 960 of the Christian a3ra. If this fact 
is true, w^e might be led to suppose that Del-Naod 
did not reside in Shoa, as other histories of Abyssinia 
tell us. It is well known to European readers, that 
Del-Naod was the son of Aizor, King of the ancient 



line, wliicli is derived from Menelec, the son of Solo- 
moiij by Maqueda, the Queen of Saba. At the time of 
King Aizor, the Jewish party is said to have been power- 
ful in Abyssinia, and when the King died, Gideon and 
his wife Judith, leaders of this party, are said to have 
killed 400 royal princes on the mount Damo in 
Tigre, which was at that time the state-prison for 
the royal issue. However, Aizor^s son, called Del- 
Naod, found means, through the assistance of the 
nobility which adhered to the family of Menelec, to 
escape to Shoa. As I do not find any place mentioned 
and selected for this prince in Shoa, I might not ob- 
ject to his having resided on the Island of Haik, as this 
was indeed one of the best places he could choose for 
his security. 

About 400 years afterward, the Island was visited by 
Icon Amlak, as I was informed ; although this would 
not quite agree with the time when Icon Amlak is 
generally admitted to have lived; viz. 1268. This 
prince was restored to the possession of the ancient 
dominions of the Solomonean family by Tecla Haima- 
not, the celebrated founder of the order of friars of 
Debra Libanos in Shoa. He had the seat of his em- 
pire at Tegulet, which seems to have been made the 
capital of Shoa by the descendants of Del-Naod, if 
he did not reside there himself. 

Icon Amlak expelled the women from the Island, 
establishing there a monks^ cloister, which received 
lands around the Island. 333 tracts of land were 


granted to the clim-cli of St. Stephen, and 333 other 
pieces of land were given to the Convent. But all 
these benefits have now been withdi-awn by the G alias, 
who possessed themselves of the whole country around. 
These Gallas, however, who are Mahomedans, and 
speak only Amharic, and belong to the tribe of Tehoo- 
ladere, are at peace with the Haikians ; yea, they 
respect the inhabitants of the Island, as it ])rovcs a 
refuge for them and their property in time of war with 
other tribes. The monks hire tracts of land from the 
Gallas, which they cviltivate for their daily maintenance. 
The islanders must provide the Chief of Tehooladere 
with gesho— a plant used by the Abyssinians instead 
of otir hops in preparing beer — lemons, and also 
money ; as the Gallas around believe that immense 
treasures are hidden on the Island. The monks of the 
Convent appear to be very poor at present, as their 
former benefits are gone. Several princes of Abyssi- 
nia, however, support the Convent. The KingofShoa 
also sends money and clothes to Haik from time to 
time, probably in remembrance of his ancestors having 
being preserved on that island from the slaughter of 
Damo, and in the hope of obtaining a particular bless- 
ing fi'om the prayers of a monk's congregation, which 
has the reputation of extraordinary holiness and hca- 

The population of the Island amounts, as I was told 
by the Alaca, to 350 souls, consisting of monks, priests, 
scholars, and sen-ants. Before the Gallas abridged 


them of the ancient benefits^ the population amonnted 
to upward of 1000 souls. 

Abba Salama, who converted the Haikians to Chris- 
tianity, brought a Tabot (holy ark) from Jerusalem 
with many other curiosities, such as, pieces of the Cross 
of Christ, and the sponge mentioned in the Gospels ; 
but King Zara- Jacob sent these things to the high 
mount Geshano, of which I shall speak afterward. 
Abuna Yasoos, who came 400 years after the Haikians 
had been converted to Christianity, blessed the lake by 
expelling all the evil spirits residing in the water. 
These took flight and estabhshcd their residence in the 
lake Ardibbo. 

It may be expected that the most celebrated Abys- 
sinian Saint, Tecla Haimanot, cannot be missing in a 
place where the ignorant, superstitious, and cunning 
priesthood wants his miracles to give some additional 
holiness to the place, to deceive the simple lay-man, 
and to cover their hypocrisy with the cowl of an odd 
fellow like Tecla Haimanot. When he arrived on the 
western shore of the lake, he pulled oiF his shoes, and 
walked on the water like Christ did as mentioned in 
the Gospel of St. Matthew. A rose-tree grew up on 
the spot where he had left his shoes. The large pitcher, 
in which Tecla Haimanot brewed his beer, is still exist- 
ing ; and also the place where he prepared his bread. 
Both objects were shown to me. The vessel has been 
manufactured from iron, which is covered with clay, 
and preserved from falling off by means of a skin tied 


around the vessel. Tecla Haimanot brought the date- 
tree from Jerusalem ; but he seems to have forgotten 
to teach the islanders how to treat these trees. There 
are about fifteen or twenty on the island; but they do 
not produce any fi-uit, the inhabitants being unac- 
quainted with the treatment of these trees. 

The spiritual father of Tecla Haimanot was called 
Abuna Yasooma^ who educated the lad, made him a 
monk, and sent him to Debra Libanos in Shoa, to con- 
vert the pagans. Tecla Haimanot had been twelve 
years in Haik. Abuna Yasooma liked him so much, 
that he called him his father from the following circum- 
stance. Tecla-Haimanot was one day stirring up A\'ith 
his hands a hot panado in a vessel without hm-ting 
himself in the boiling water. Yasooma seeing this, ex- 
claimed, " I have thought that you were my son, and 
I yom* father ; but now I find that you are superior to 
me ; henceforth I am your son." 

The Island has almost a square form, and is about 
two miles in circumference. The Order of the INIonks 
is that of the celebrated ]\Ionk Aragawi, who lived in 
Debra Dano, in Tigre. There rules arc those which 
are prescribed in the book of the Monks — IMatzhafa 
Monakosat, written in iEthiopic. The islanders do not 
agree with the innovations which have been made in 
other parts of Abyssinia. They do not believe in the 
three births of Christ, nor do they maintain that the 
human soul has any knowledge in the womb. 

With regard to the establishment and internal ceo- 


nomy of the Convent, I have obtained from the Alaca 
the following information : — Each friar receives daily 
one cake of bread from the common baker, who receives 
the meal, wood, &c., from the common stock ; and a 
quantity of beer from the common brewhouse, where the 
vessel of Tecla Haimanot still renders excellent service. 
The common funds are very scanty at present ; so that 
if an individual should want more, he must provide it 
at his own expence ; but these additions must be pre- 
pared publicly in the common bakehouse or brewhouse, 
to which the materials must be delivered. They are 
not allowed to prepare food, &c. in their own houses ; 
and if any were to transgress this regulation, he would 
be excommunicated by the Alaca. Clothes are also 
siven from the common stock. Each Monk has a share 
in the lands, which are, however, at "present in the 
hands of the Gallas. These lands are hereditary ; but 
the son cannot obtain the share of his father, unless he 
become a Monk. A married man may live a long time 
on the Island ; but as soon as he tm-ns Monk, he must 
divorce his wife. Priests and Deacons are not bound to 
do this ; but they must leave their wives on shore, and 
only \dsit them at certain times. Each Monk or Priest 
has a few boys, whom he uses as his servants, and edu- 
cates for priests or monks, that they may be received 
into the Order of the Convent, and become sharers in 
the common benefits. The principal business of the 
friars is to say the prayers prescribed by their books. 
Strangers and visitors are accommodated at the public 



expence ; but they can only be introduced by tlie Alaca, 
whose servants watch on shore, and inform him of the 
arrival of visitors. This is particularly the business of 
the steward, whom the Alaca has located in the village 
of Debra Mariam, to which a stranger has first to go. 
Then the steward cries out fi'om the shore to the Island, 
where other servants of the Alaca have to watch. 

The leaders of the whole establishment are as follow : 
1. The head of the whole island. 2. The Alacas of 
the Church and Convent. 3. Afa jMamcr. 4. Megabi. 
5. Safari. 6. Tamaki. Each is subject to the person 
superior to himself. 

There may be about 100 houses, each being for a 
Monk, with a few boys. Each house has a little garden, 
surrounded by a fence. The streets are vei*y narrow ; 
but the whole appearance of the Island, which, I should 
think, is about 5000 feet about the level of the sea, 
certainly affords some of the finest scenery in Abyssinia. 
The climate is veiy agreeable, being neither too hot nor 
too cold. The heat is always tempered by the sea 
breeze. Indeed, the Island appears to be suitable for 
persons who wish to live a sorrowless life ; which is the 
principal thing desired by an Abyssinian saint or monk. 
Were these Islanders real Christians in their doctrines 
and lives, they would undoubtedly be able to contribute 
a great deal to the propagation of Christianity in Abys- 
sinia and beyond it ; but at present they arc, in my 
judgment, complete hypocrites ; being a proud, ignorant, 
beggar-like, raving, and worldly-minded people, who 


cannot be the salt of the earth. All my conversation, 
tending to the reception of the Word of God, and the 
conversion of our hearts to the living God and Saviour, 
were instantly counteracted by their turning the dis- 
course to the miracles of their saints, to the sanctity of 
the Convent, in consequence of Tecla Haimanot having 
resided on the island, and to begging for property. 
The Alaca Debille is the best of all, being less ignorant 
and less beggar-like. He is respected by the G alias, 
whom he knows how to treat properly. He is very open 
to explanations derived from the light of the pure Word 
of God. I dare say that he would have liked me to 
stay with him for some time : indeed, he requested me 
to do so, although there was no prospect of his being 
rewarded for his hospitality, as I was without any means. 
A quantity of the Holy Scriptures might be deposited 
on the Island, as people from all quarters of Abyssinia 
are continually flocking to the Convent, and as the 
route to Tigre leads by way of Haik, which is only 
seven or ten days' journey distant from Ankobar. 

I have forgotten to remark above, that the rafts 
crossing over to the main land are every evening placed 
on the Island for the sake of precaution ; so that the 
islanders are always secured against a sudden attack. 
After sun-set the rowers cease from work. They loosen 
then the ropes and take the reeds to the Island, where 
they tie them up again on the next morning, when 
they are quite dry. A strange Navy indeed, which is 
to be seen here in its first and weak beginning ! 


As the Alaca had invited me to pass the night in 
his house, I readily complied with his wish. He pro- 
\'ided me and my servants with food. The beer^ how- 
ever, was so strong, that I refused to drink much of it, 
being apprehensive that it would disagree with me. It 
was veiy bitter, or rather sour, having been prepared 
with too large a quantity of gesho. I had already 
heard on the road that the beer of Haik was too strong, 
and therefore not liked by the Gallas around. 

April 8, 1842 — The Alaca Debille introduced me this 
morning to Wolda Georgis, the head of the Island of 
Haik. He appeared to be a coldly-minded man. When 
he heard of my misfortunes, he said, " You have no 
property ; but when you have reached your country, 
you will get some." Fancy, what a miserable consola- 
tion this was. I left him after a few minutes. Havinf*- 
returned from my visit, I wrote a letter to the King of 
Shoa and to his Excellency Capt. Harris, the Britisli 
Ambassador, informing them of what had occurred. 
The Alaca Debille advised me to return secretly to Shoa 
by way of AVorra Kalla, or to send a message to 
Berroo Loobo, who would restore my property ; but I 
would not desist from ])rosecuting my way to IMassowah 
whatever further might occur to me on the road. The 
best plan I conceived was to depart from Haik as 
quickly as possible, and to put the matter respecting- 
J;he lost property into the hands of the King and the 
British Ambassador. 

As this day was Friday, I was obliged to cross o\(r 

T ,5 


from the island to the main land, the rafts not moving 
on Saturday and Sunday, on account of the sanctity of 
these days. I wanted to pass the night in the house 
of a Debtera ; but he positively refused me, saying, 
that he was too poor to give me any thing to eat in the 
evening. I knew that he told me a falsehood. To 
speak the truth, the Haikians have not recommended 
themselves in treating me properly, except the Alaca 
Debille, although they know me very well from Anko- 
bar, and would be certain of a good reward on my 
return to Shoa. 

I first despatched three of my servants with letters 
to Shoa, as I could not take them all to IMassowah. 
It was a heartfelt sight when the three men took 
leave of me, having been companions from the begin- 
ing of my tribulation. They wept excessively, and I 
could not myself refrain from shedding tears. They 
then went down on their knees, begging for pardon, 
if they had given ofience in any way ; and then requir- 
ed a blessing from me. These moments will not very 
soon be effaced from my memory. They were ex- 
tremely sorry for my sending them back, although 
they knew that I could not provide for them on the 
road. At last they went their way, and we prosecuted 
ours in the direction of north-east ; but being already 
too late to go a considerable distance, we went to the 
village Bora, in the district Wordai, distant about five 
miles from the lake. Here we found a Debtera, who 
received us kindly and provided us with whatever his 


circumstances would admit. He is the only Christian 
inhabitant of the place, all the others being Mahonie- 
dans. I shall not forget to reward him if he comes to 
Ankobar, as he has done his duty toward his fellow- 
creature in affliction and poverty. He stated that he 
had seen me at Ankobar, and that he was glad of 
ha\'ing been enabled to render me a little ser^dce, and 
of making his personal acquaintance vnih me. 

Several high mountains were visible in the neigh- 
bourhood of Bora to the north and north-west, the 
highest of which is Sagarat, on the northern foot of 
which the river Bashilo was said to rise. This would 
not be far from the sources of the Berkona. Sagarat 
belongs to the territory of Imam Liban, and the sources 
were to be placed between the territory of Iman Liban 
and that of Yechoo. I have no doubt that the high 
mountain of Sagarat, and the whole ridge of hills 
branching to south and north, form the water shed in 
this part of Eastern Abyssinia, and is endently the 
continuation of the famous range of mountains which 
I have frequently mentioned in my Jom-nal. 

Tehooladere is said to have derived its name from a 
priest called Teclo, coming from God, and who lived 
in the countiy before the Gallas had taken possession 
of it. As he was a man of great influence, and princi- 
pally feared and respected for his magical reputation, 
the country was called Tehooladere, the word Tcclo 
having been corrupted into Tehool. Adare is for Adara 
—he rested — passed his time — Tecloo Adare — Teclo 


passed his time (in this country). Perhaps the whole 
story has been contrived by an idle monk of Haik, in 
order to give more celebrity to the Convent, which had 
formerly enjoyed an influential man like Teclo. In 
general, the learned Abyssinians being fond of mysti- 
cal interpretations, are prompt to find out a meaning 
for every thing, unconcerned whether their ex])lanation 
is affected, or forces a laugh or not. 

Ajrril 9, 1842 — This morning, about six o'clock, we 
left Bora and our kind host, Debtera Atkoo. He gave us 
some provisions for the road. From Bora we had to 
descend a little into the pretty ^ alley of the river Mille, 
which rises on the northern end of the mountain Mofa, 
and runs toward the countiy of the Adals. This river 
separates the territory of Tehooladere from that of Am- 
bassel and Yechoo, The course of the river Mille to 
the east, and that of the river Bashilo in the west, 
shows that the mountains of jMofa and Sagarat form 
the watershed, and are the continuation of the famous 
range which surrounds Eastern Abyssinia like a girdle. 
In the east of this range you enjoy a milder climate, 
which gets hot the more you descend toward the coun- 
try of the Danakil. This descent takes place over little 
hills and valleys almost impassable on account of thorns 
and otlier kinds of wood. 

We crossed the river Mille about seven o'clock. It 
runs through a most beautiful valley, being rich in 
trees and grass, and a good soil for cultivation ; but 
notwithstanding this, the valley is neither cultivated 


nor inhabited^ but left a complete wilderness. I have 
never seen such a variety of birds, of the most beauti- 
ful plumage, as in this valley, and I am sure that a 
good collection could be made for zoology. The bed 
of the river is of considerable breadth; but its real 
breadth, where there was water and where we crossed, 
was only fifteen feet and a quarter in depth ; but it 
must be remarked, that this was the hot season of the 
year. The river runs north-east-east, and we followed 
its course for a distance of a few miles, till we took a 
more northern direction in the ^■icinity of the mountain 
Ambassel, from which the tribe and the whole country 
around has its name. The height and steepness of 
this mountain raises the greatest astonishment. It is 
one of the most important strongholds of Abyssinia, 
which, if well guarded, woidd be able to check a large 
army for a considerable time, as there is only one road, 
which is steep and dangerous, leading to the top, 
where there is a plain with water and good ground for 
cultivation. This mountain was for some time the 
state-prison of the former Emperors of Abyssinia. 
Tlie royal princes were frequently confined on this 
stronghold, which is not far from that of mount 
Geshano (not Geshen) which is in the north-west from 
Ambassel, as well as I could ascertain without the 
compass. Besides these mountains, those of Damo in 
Tigi-e, and Wcihne in the west of Abyssinia, were 
selected for the imprisonment of the royal issue. 

The present Governor of Ambassel is Ali Boroo, a 


Mahomedan. Most of his subjects have turned Maho- 
medans. He is completely independent, as no Abys- 
sinian force can compel him to make submission to any 
one of the principal rulers of Abyssinia. He shows 
however great attachment to the Muhamedo, i. e. to 
Iman Liban, who is considered the head of the Ma- 
homedan party. Ali Boroo has lately sent a detach- 
ment of troops to assist the Imam against the invading 
forces of Berroo Aligas and of his brother Faris, Gover- 
nor of Yechoo (not Edjoo). 

The mountain Ambassel has several high and pro- 
minent peaks, and extends from south to north with 
a little east. It is about nine or twelve miles in extent 
from south to north. Its banks in many places resem- 
ble walls of an immense height, and I doubt whether 
the ball of a cannon of the best calibre would reach 
the top of the mount. This stronghold would be of 
the most decided importance in a better military sys- 
tem of Abyssinia, in order to secure its eastern fron- 
tiers against the Gallas and Danakil, who could be 
conquered mth the greatest ease by a small detach- 
ment of regular troops starting from Ambassel. In 
general, my road from Shoa to Tigre has convinced me 
that Eastern Abyssinia is almost unconquerable, and 
would be so if its rulers once adopted the European 
military system. 

Having crossed the river Mille, we entered into the 
districts of Seeba and Goombisa, through which the 
Mille runs, whereupon it is lost in the sandy deserts 


of Adel. Both districts belong to the tribe of Ambas- 
sel. Having passed the district of Seeba, we traversed 
the district of "Woochale, in which we travelled through 
a village called by the strange name Sekdat-teherk. 
On enquiring after its meaning, I learned that the 
inhabitants formerly used and manufactured clothes 
from the wool of black sheep, which is called in 
Amhai'ic Sekdat ; but having become acquainted with 
cotton and the manufacturing of it, they relinquished 
the use of black clothes, which they then considered as 
Teherk, i. e. rags ; thus dishonouring the improved state 
of the skill of their countrymen. Having traversed 
Woochale we came to the district of Worra Kallo in 
Yechoo, which must be well distinguished from "Worra 
Kallo in the AA'oUo country, which is governed by 
Berroo Loobo, as I have stated above. 

We halted a little in Worra Kallo in order to beg 
for some provisions, as we were very hungry. In a 
village, called Leebso, we met two Mahomedans, who 
had lately arrived from their pilgrimage to Mecca. 
They spoke favourably of the Europeans whom they 
had seen in Massowah and Jidda. The large Indian 
vessels had particularly astonished them. One of the 
Hadjees asked, why the Christians did not allow a 
woman who had brought forth a child to go out of her 
house before forty days had elapsed. I replied, that 
this was an Abyssinian practice, derived from the 
Je^vish law, which was not observed by us, except so 
far as the New Testament approved of it. This matter 


led US to an explanation of the difference between the 
word of man and that of God. I was sorry that I 
could not give him an Arabic Bible, as he understood 
the Arabic language pretty well. 

As it was late when we arrived in the village, and 
having been overtaken by a violent rain, we took the 
liberty of entering into the nearest house on the way 
side, and asked the proprietor for a night's lodging. 
Having entered the house, I observed a tall man nearly 
naked, sitting on the gi-ound in his room. His long 
black hair, dark face, grave posture, and, in fact, his 
whole appearance gave me the impression of a head- 
breaker, and hangman's servant, from whom we had 
little to expect. He looked upon us with fierce and 
ferocious eyes, and did not speak a word, nor return 
our salutation. I was really a little afraid of him. 
However, I attempted to gain his heart by entering 
into a conversation, showing no sort of fear. I first 
related the disastrous occun-ence with Adara Bille, 
which affected him so much, that he became more open 
and familiar, and felt some compassion for our afflicted 
condition. I asked for a night's lodging, when he 
ordered me to sit down on a skin which he himself 
spread on the gi'ound, and bid his wife prepare supper. 
When this was ready, he invited me and my servants 
to partake of it, which consisted of a fieiy pepper soup, 
raw meat, and teff-bread. "WTiile we sat at table, he 
several times made excuses for not being able to treat 
us better, as he had been obliged to leave his country 


in consequence of war, and had not yet been properly 
established in Leebso. His invitation was quite super- 
fluous, as we were so hungry that we could eat any 
thing ; as the proverb says : — " Hunger is the best 
sauce." We had no longer the least fear of the man, 
whose looks had almost induced us to leave his house 
and to seek elsewhere for a night's lodging, although 
the rain fell down in torrents. After we had finished 
supper, we were requested by our host to sleep on 
whatever place we could find in his room, which was 
full of men, horses, donkeys, and fowls. The rain was 
also coming in. This however did not signify in the 
least, and we knew how to manage the business, the 
principal thing had been the food. 

I was not a little rejoiced in iny mind at this good 
reception, and I said to my people, " A^Tiat a shame it 
is that we put so little confidence in our heavenly 
Father, who has accommodated us better than when I 
had still my own means." Really we starved more near 
the river Bashilo, when I was able to buy my o\vn pro- 
visions. Although we had not here the abundance 
which we had with the Queen Dowager in Zalla Dengai, 
yet our food was sufficient to satisfy our hungry bodies, 
and to require more we are not entitled by the prayer. 
Give us our daily bread. A circumstance which I 
always experienced during the whole subsequent jour- 
ney to the coast, was, that whenever I intended to get 
more by begging in the villages than was requisite for 


one day, we were entirely disappointed, that I should 
not care anxiously for the wants of the next day. 

April 10, 184'2 — Early this morning we departed 
from Leebso, moving toward Mcrsa, a celebrated village, 
inhabited chiefly by merchants of the Yechoo countiy, 
into which we entered yesterday afternoon on arriving 
at Worra Kallo. Having jn'oceeded on our way for 
about half an horn' we were overtaken by a heavy rain, 
which compelled us to seek for shelter under trees, no 
house being ^isible in the whole neighbourhood. The 
second rainy season — between February and April — 
appears to be heavier in these regions than in Shoa. 
Perhaps the mountainous country, which must be always 
clouded, contributes to this phenomenon. It is a fact, 
that where there is high land in Shoa, the rains are 
more fi'equent and heavier. We were in a large valley, 
a complete wilderness, though it might nourish many 
thousand of inhabitants. The acacia-trees and bushes 
were in such abundance that we lost our road several 
times, and were entirely at a loss how to extricate our- 
selves. The mountains around were quite clouded, so 
that we were unable to find and correct our direction, 
which was pointed out to us by our kind host at Leebso. 
We did not know whether we should not fall into the 
hands of the Gallas and Danakils, who dwell ou the 
eastern end of the wilderness ; or whether we should 
be attacked by ferocious beasts, against which we had 
no weapons of defence. Fortunately, however, the rain 
ceased, and the clouds were dispelled, and with these 


our embarrassments were dispersed, as we could now 
distinguisli the mountain which we should pursue. 
However, the nolent rain had made the slight soil so 
slippery, that I frequently fell down. The vapourous air 
besides and the thorns made our walking very incon- 

About nine o'clock we crossed the river Ergebbo, 
which runs to the country of Adel, as is the case with 
all the rivers rising in the east of the famous range of 
mountains in Eastern Abyssinia. Probably there is a 
large river down below toward the country of Adel, a 
river which may take up all the rivers, brooks, and 
rills, of which we passed several since we passed the 
river ]\Iille yesterday. This river, which probably re- 
ceives the waters of Yechoo, Lasta, and Agow, is most 
likely the upper course of the river Anazo marked on 
the maps. It may be the general conductor of the 
mighty reservoir of water which is contained in the 
mountain range so frequently mentioned. The Ha- 
wash takes up all the waters coming from the cast 
of the water shed of Shoa and AA'orra Kallo; why 
should we not therefore be allowed to suppose, that 
a companion of the II awash takes up the numerous 
water tributes of Yechoo and Lasta, collects these tri- 
butes to one common stock, and conveys them to the 
coast ; but that the long journey through the sand of 
Adel prevents it from reaching the Red or Indian Sea, 
as is also the case with the llawash. Had I been able 
to take my route through the country of the ferocious 


Raia Gallas, as I intended to do, I should have ob- 
tained more particulars for or against this opinion. 

The Gallas have intraded themselves around the 
whole eastern girdle of Abyssinia, between the Danakil 
and Abyssinians. They live at enmity with both these 
nations, although they have adopted the Mahomedan 
religion. In the east of the great plain which we tra- 
versed, there are several tribes which pay tribute to the 
Governor of Yechoo ; namely, the Chorre, Logana, and 
Boorra tribes. It must be observed, that the Yechoos 
are not Gallas nor Pagans, as it would appear from Mr. 
Bruce's work. At least, at present, they are Christians, 
and speak Amharic ; and I did not find that their fea- 
tm-es are the same -nith other Gallas. Probably Mr. 
Bruce, who although the best ^rriter on Abyssinia, yet 
is sometimes greatly mistaken, took those tribes which 
are dependent on Yechoo for Yechoos themselves. In 
the north of these tribes toward Lasta and Agau are 
the Ana and Raia Gallas^ who could not be subjected 
by the Abyssinians on account of their mountains, 
which appeared from a distance to extend to the very 
sky. The Raia Gallas, of whom I shall speak fre- 
quently hereafter, are the most ferocious set of people, 
plundering and murdering for the sake of pleasure. 
They are divided into several small tribes, which dwell 
in the higher and lower countries of their mountains. 
The mountain ridge which they inhabit, probably ex- 
tends a himdi-ed miles from the south to north-east. 
There they watch the opportunity of carrying terror 


and death against the lower countries in the east and 
west. If the traveller had not to fear this inhuman 
set of people, he would be able to reach Tigre in a much 
shorter time; and the route between Shoa and Massowah 
would be considerably abridged. But thus the traveller 
is compelled to take a long and tiresome route through 
the country of Lasta and Wag, on account of the Raia 
Gallas lurking like Hons at the foot of their mountains. 
On the banks of the river Ergebbo I saw the coffee 
tree. It was about fourteen feet in height. The leaves 
were very long, and the husk of the fruit, which was 
not yet ripe, red and sweet. Coffee is not dear here, 
as the INIahomedans plant as much as they want for 
themselves, the Christians refusing to drink from reli- 
gious motives. 

Mersa is the point where Christians begin to be- 
come frequent, and their number increases to the 
foot of the Yechoo mountains, where the Mahomedan 
power was seldom felt. The Christians and the people 
of Yechoo in general are said to be good, simple, and 
hos])itable. This testimony a])pears to be true to a 
certain extent. Since I had left Shoa and been without 
means, I had not been so well treated as in Yechoo. 
It appears that they have kept up much of the ancient 
Abyssinian manners. Their mountainous country sepa- 
rated them from the intercourse and political move- 
ments of other Abyssinian provinces, and this circum- 
stance contributed much to the preservation of their for- 
mer character. Their hospitality may Ik- j)artly ascribed 


to the great wealth which they enjoy. They have every 
thing that an Abyssinian wants in abundance. They 
have a beautiful soil for cultivation, a soil which will 
produce all that they want. 

Having been in circumstances which rendered me 
independent, as well as entirely dependent on Abyssi- 
nian hospitality, I am able I think to be a competent 
judge of what that hospitality is, which by many writers 
has been overrated. As long as you have property, and 
appear to be a great man in their eyes, you will be well 
received every where, as they calculate upon a payment 
more than double the value of what you receive. They 
also expect that the stranger will give a handsome pre- 
sent in return. If he does not give a present, he will 
certainly not meet vnth a civil reception should he 
come again to the house of the same host. Abyssinian 
hospitality is intended, in most cases, with the view of 
obtaining great profit. It is true, that in Shoa and in 
some other places a traveller has little to reflect how he 
shall reward his host, he being compelled by royal 
orders, to treat the stranger well. If you are a poor 
man, you may in some cases be well received ; but the 
Abyssinian in his hospitality merely seeks his own in- 
terest. He gives you to eat and drink for his soul's 
sake, as he says. The Abyssinians believe that if they 
give a few loaves of bread and some horns of beer to 
an afflicted stranger, God will admit them to His par- 
ticular favour, and that He will forgive all their sins. 
Others will receive you for the sake of curiosity, as 


they perhaps seldom or ever see a white man, believing 
that he comes from Jerusalem. They think that the 
reception of such a stranger into their house will 
give them an opportunity of asking questions about 
this holy city ; questions which are sometimes so 
foohsh and childish, that you can scarcely listen to 
them. "NMien the stranger leaves the house, he must 
give a blessing, which, in the opinion of Abyssinians, 
has a particular effect against devils, gins, ants, locusts, 
mice, famine, war, sickness, &c., because he came from 
Jemsalem. Others will give you food, or a lodging 
for the night, because they expect medicine from you. 
Others perhaps vnW receive you, because, as they say, 
you have no father, nor mother, nor relations in the 
country. These are the principal motives of Abyssinian 

And then, what do they give you ? Perhaps they 
will allow you to sleep in a stable with their cattle — 
perhaps they will give you some teff-bread and pepper- 
soup, which almost sets yom* lips on fire ; or perhaps 
they will give you a few horns of hydromel and beer. 
But they will never slaughter a sheep when you come 
to them in a poor appearance ; though if you appear 
to be rich, they will not hesitate to slaughter the best 
sheep and largest bullock, as they are certain of receiv- 
ing double the value. Whoever goes to Abyssinia, 
should be warned against relying on the hospitality of 
the cunning Abyssinians. It is better if you have your 
own means ; but if you lose these, you must not despair ; 


as you mil find; under God's direction^ as much as you 
absolutely want till you reach the coast. This is my 
impartial opinion of Abyssinian hospitality, which I 
have experienced in good and bad days. Do not rely 
on Abyssinian hospitality, but make yourself as inde- 
pendent of it as you can ; but if you must rely on it, 
you may be sure that you will find what you want daily, 
till you can help yourself. 

If a traveller should fail in procuring his daily food 
from the inhabitants of a village through which he 
passes, it is advisable for him to go to the church of the 
place, which must feed a stranger who is a Christian. 
You may go there without any hesitation, because most 
churches have the benefit of lands for that purpose. 
You sit down at the entrance — called Decha Salama — 
till the priests ask you what you want. At all events, 
they cannot refuse you a night's lodging, if they should 
be wicked enough to give you no food. But if you once 
obtain a lodging for the night, you may then go through 
the village and find a little bread or some hog's beans, 
with which you must be content if you wish to travel 
in Abyssinia. The good water and healthy chmate will 
make up for the comforts of other countries. In gene- 
ral it is customary for a traveller to sit down on the 
ground at public places where the villagers can see you, 
and if any one will receive you, he will come and call 
you. Should you wait however for a considerable time 
without having been called by any one, you may then 
attempt to ask for a lodging in a house you choose; 


and if you are sent away, it is best to go to a 

This matter leads me to mention a subject which 
may prove useful to many Europeans, who a])pear to 
consider Abyssinia a country in which they could make 
their fortunes in a short time. This is by no means 
the case ; and he who entertains this opinion, will be 
utterly disappointed if he goes to Abyssinia for this 
purpose. It is true, that a mechanic might be able to 
collect a large fortune, if people would pay him pro- 
perly for his n-ork ; but this is never the case. They 
want liini to do every thing without payment ; yea, they 
expect that he will make them a present for the favour 
which they believe they have done him by requesting 
his services. If there are Abyssinians of a better 
mind, they \^'ill perhaps give to the labourer a sheep, 
or some barley and other things in kind. But this is 
rather a trouble than an advantage. As long as the 
Abyssinians do not travel to other countries, and arc 
not acquainted with European customs and the value of 
Em-opean articles, or the usefulness of a European me- 
chanic ; or as long as any Abyssinian ruler does not 
encourage the improvement of commerce and manu- 
factures at any cxpencc, as Mahomed Ali, Pasha of 
Egypt, has done, wc must not expect that artisans and 
merchants will gain advantage to any considerable ex- 
tent. Abyssinia is at present in a state of infancy com- 
pared with European nations ; but if it were go\erned 
bv a proper government, it would soon rise to be the 



first power of Africa^ and its flourisMng state would be 
of the most decided advantage to Eui'opean speculators 
of all kinds. 

Moving toward Mersa^ we met multitudes of people 
going to the market of Goobhara, a village through 
which we had passed yesterday. I observed a very 
strange custom of the Yechoo women whom we met on 
the road. They either turned backward, or turned 
their faces to the ground, standing still on the way-side. 
Believing that this arose from the fear which they had 
at seeing a white man, or that it was a trace of modesty 
customary in their tribe, I inquired the reason ; and 
I learned that in doing so, they request a blessing from 
the traveller, w^ho has to addi'css them with the words : 
" May God have mercy upon you ;" or, " May He bless 
and preserve you.^^ I observed afterward almost the 
same custom in the Wag country, though only in the 
male sex. 

I have already mentioned, that the immense plains 
of the Yechoo country would admit a more numerous 
population ; but on examining this matter more fully, I 
found that they leave them uninhabited on purpose. 
These plains, which are complete wildernesses, are nar- 
row in the west toward the foot of the mountains, but 
very considerable in breadth toward the east and the 
Galla country. Thorns and other kinds of wood grow 
up on these plains in such abundance, that you can 
scarcely find your road through this thorny wilderness, 
which is dreaded on this account by large wild beasts. 


Thus naturally fortified against the inroads of the Gallas 
of the east on points where the only entrance is presented 
to these savages^ the Yechoo people do not feel inclined 
to deprive themselves of this thorny stronghold by 
means of cultivation, for which they have room enough 
in other places. Besides, the cultivation of such a 
wilderness would require great exertions, which the 
laziness of the Abyssinians will not attempt, unless 
the utmost necessity compels them. The climate in 
these plains is beautiful, neither too hot nor too cold ; 
the air being always refreshed by the winds blowing 
from the mountains. There is plenty of water poured 
out from the veins of the neighbouring mountains. 

About twelve o^ clock we crossed the river Mersa, 
which cai'ried in its narrow bed such a mass of water 
that we had great difficulty in passing the river. The 
heavy rain which fell this morning had caused this 
swelhng of the river, which at other times cannot have 
much water. Much cotton is planted on the banks of 
the river. But I was particularly struck with the man- 
ner in which the natives plant their red pepper. They 
dig small pieces of ground near the river, which they 
saiTOund by a fence. In this the young pepper plant 
is placed, and covered with reeds, which however do not 
touch the top of the plants, as they stand very close 
together. These reeds are frequently sprinkled with 
water, which drop down on the plants gradually. This 
treatment evidently contributes to the speedy and lux- 
uriant growth of the plant. AVhcn it has grown about 
u 2 


a foot in lieiglit, it is transplanted into another tract of 
ground. I was told, that a pepper-plantation of only 
aljout ten or twelve feet in circumference, will bring in 
to the proprietor a revenue of two or four dollars, as 
he is enabled to plant a large field with the previous 
produce of but a small garden. 

Having crossed the river Mersa, we immediately saw 
the village of the same name before us. We had al- 
ready been made aware that Christian merchants resided 
in this village; but my principle was not to inquire 
much on my own account about the religious differen- 
ces of a place, as the principal thing that I wanted was 
such hospitality as would satisfy my necessary daily 
wants, and because my duty as a messenger of God^s 
Word should be exerted toward Christians as well as 
Mahomedans, without any predilection or choice of my 
own. T could compare myself with the birds of the 
mlderness, which, without any choice or knowledge, fly 
to the branch of a tree they happen to reach, and gene- 
rally find on the ground below what is requisite for 
them. In the same manner I went into the next house 
and accepted with thanksgiving whatever was presented 
to me for my bodily wants ; and wherever the Lord gave 
me an open door and an open heai't to deliver the mes- 
sage of His Word, I spoke freely of His infinite grace 
and love to sinners, revealed in Christ, without asking 
whether the people of the house were ]\Iahomedans or 

We entered into a little house in j\Iersa close to the 


way-side. The people of the house ijroved to be Ma- 
homedans. Upon entering and saluting them, an old 
sickly looking woman returned our salutation, and bid 
us walk in and sit do^^^l on a skin, which she spread 
out before us. She then ordered her daughter to make 
some coflfee, and to bake a few cakes. In the mean 
time, she gave us some hog's beans, till the coffee was 
ready. A neighbour- woman, who was a Christian, 
was with her, and who hearing that wc were Christians, 
said, " "Why did you not go to the houses of the Chris- 
tians ? '' I said, " In the first place, we are strangers, 
who do not know any thing about the religious differ- 
ences of the inhabitants of this place ; and, secondly, 
we are afflicted strangers, having been deprived of ovir 
property by the hands of a robber on the road. We 
therefore apply to all who feel compassion for the 
afflicted." The Christian woman then ran out of the 
house. We thought she was gone to fetch some pro- 
^dsions for us ; but we were utterly disappointed, and 
we never saw her afterward. But this disappoint- 
ment did not signify, as our old kind hostess did every 
thing to show her compassion for us. " I know," she 
said, "that you are Christians ; but this does not prevent 
me from admitting you to my house, because you are 
strangers of Allah, (God) who has ordered us to do good 
to them." And really she did so. Though she wasa 
j)oor woman herself, she did eveiy thing to make us 
comfortable, presenting us with coffee, bread, and af- 
terward milk and beer. 


While we were enjoying ourselves with what was 
given by our hostess^ several Mahomedans entered the 
room. One of them began the conversation by asking, 
whether I knew at what time God would send them 
either famine or cheapness. I said, that God kept this 
secret to himself, and that whoever should attempt to 
disclose it by means of his natural knowledge, would 
turn a liar and offend God : besides, he would lead his 
fellow-creatures to unwarrantable errors. " Well then," 
the Mahomedans replied, "thus you know nothing 
about this subject." " No/^ I said, " nothhig at all ; but 
I know about another more important famine and 
cheapness of our souls, of which I am going to tell 
you,^' I then spoke about the natural corruption of 
sinful man, who unless he seeks for his salvation through 
Jesus Christ, the only Saviour, will be lost for ever. 
While I was conversing with these people, a Mahome- 
dan Sheik came in. He first said to me, " Shave your 
head." This led us to the same topics on which I had 
just been speaking ; but the Sheik interrupted us, by 
addi-essiug our hostess and requesting her to send us 
away. She said, that she would not do so, as we werfe 
an afflicted people. I said, " Why do you trouble the 
woman on my account because I am a Christian ? If 
you believed what our Gospel says, He wlio loveth God 
loves his hrother also — you would not say what you 
have." He then arose and walked off in anger. 

Another Mahomedan who came in, immediately got 
affected when I returned his salutation in the Amharic 


words : " Egsiabher yemas ghen'^ — May God be praised ! 
The Mahomedans, although they only speak xlmharic^ 
will never nse any other expression than the Arabic 
"El-hamd-lillah," in order to distinguish themselves from 
the Christians. I then said^ " \ATiom shall I praise but 
God, who daily does me good in body and mind ; and 
not only me, but also those who do not know Him and 
believe on His Son Jesus Christ, who is the only Sa\dour 
and Mediator between God and man." 

April 11, 1842 — We left our kind hostess about seven 
o'clock, A.M. Before starting I had an opportunity of 
observing a superstitious custom which is common to 
Christians as well as ]Mahomcdans. The woman of, a 
neighbour sent to our hostess for the staff of Moses, 
as they call a kind of acacia wood. They believe that 
a staff of this wood swung before a woman in labour, 
will considerably promote her delivery. Moses is said 
to have used a staff made of this sort of wood when 
he struck the rock in the wilderness; and in like man- 
ner the Holy Virgin is reported to have used it. 

I also observed another extravagant superstition, 
which we could scarcely expect from Mahomedans. 
They pay great respect to certain trees. There was a 
tree in Mersa which they particularly hold in great re- 
verence, ^ly people desiring to sit dowTi under its 
shadow, were immediately driven away, lest the Adbar 
should be angiy. Adbar means keeper or watchman. 
They gi'casc this tree, and perform religious ceremonies 
under it. Nobody dare touch or damage the tree with- 


out risking a severe punishment. We saw on our road 
yesterday a large tree^ a wanza, which was greased. 
This superstition is common to Mahomedans and 
Christians, and particularly to the Pagan Gallas, from 
whom the Abyssinians appear to have adopted many 
heathenish customs and practices. The Shoans acknow- 
ledge many things as Adbar. Thus, for instance, a 
leopard has been frequently seen in the forest of Afer- 
beini, near Ankobar, on a tree close to the monastery of 
Tecla Haimanot. One day I expressed a wish to 
let this beast feel the power of my rifle; but the 
monks having heard that I wished to kill the leopard, 
and that I had agreed with people to let me know when 
the beast was on the tree, came and begged me not to 
destroy the leopard, as he was an Adbar, or protector 
of their monastery. I said, " On this account I wish to 
know whether he can stand against my rifle, in order 
that you may give up an idea which is highly disgrace- 
ful to a Christian, who should be better instructed from 
the "Word of God." INIany people in Shoa told me, 
that leopards are Adbars, as they show the road to fugi- 
tives who endeavour to escape from the captivity of the 
Gallas. Would you imagine that such gross supersti- 
tion and ignorance could really exist among a Christian 
nation ! I could scarcely believe it myself if I had not 
heard the matter from so many people. 

We travelled toward Woldaia, the capital of Dejas- 
madj Faris, Governor of Yechoo. On om" road Ave met 
a number of priests coming from Gondar by way of 


Begemeder and "Wadela. They told us that the robbers 
near the river Checheho had deprived them of their 
clothes and provisions. They had nothing on their 
bodies except the skins of bullocks, which some merci- 
ful people had given them to cover their nakedness. 
This fact is a fm-ther proof of what we might have ex- 
perienced if we had been able to prosecute our road to 
Gondar by passing the Checheho. The river Checheho 
has its source in the mountains of Lasta, and runs be- 
tween Begemeder and Daunt into the Nile. 

Our road led us through plain land as yesterday, but 
it was less woody. As it was already evening, and a 
shower of rain approaching, we would not enter the 
capital of Woldaia, but preferred seeking for a lodging 
for the night in a village called Shelte, a few miles dis- 
tant from Woldaia. Our intention was to move to- 
morrow to Woldaia, and if possible to rest there for a 
day or two, as our daily joui-neys had tired us consider- 
ably. Besides, we thought that we might be able to 
collect a stock of provisions for our journey through 
Lasta, which, we had learned, was a poor country, 
abandoned by the inhabitants. Having arrived in the 
village of Shelte during the rain, we entered a house to 
beg for shelter and a lodging for the night. The lady 
of the house however, who was alone with her children, 
bid us go out of her house, as there were many other 
houses where we might ask for a lodging. Sad as wc 
were, we went away in the rain, and made our peti- 
tion to the inhabitants of another house ; but they 


answered, " What have you to do in om- house ? You 
cannot stay with us ; wx have a sick person in our 
room : walk off immediately/' We then went to another 
house, but with no better success, as the proprietor told 
us that he could not receive any one, as his house was 
full of people and cattle. We said, that we would only 
trouble him for a place to sleep upon at night, as we 
could not sleep in the open air on account of the rain, 
and as there was no chm'ch in the village to which we 
could go. As we still went on asking for a night's 
lodging, he said, " I have told you once that I have no 
room for you ; therefore you must leave my room.'' 
" Well then," I said, " I will go, and the same God who 
gives a place to a bird where to rest upon, will provide 
for us." While we wxre talking with the man, we w^ere 
called by the people who at first excused themselves with 
having a sick man in their house. They gave us a house 
w^hich was empty, the inhabitants having joined the ex- 
pedition of Dejasmadj Faris. We felt very grateful for 
the permission they gave us to pass the night in thehouse. 
Some neighbours having heard from my servants the 
mischief which had befallen us on the road, brought 
a few loaves of bread and a little beer. They also 
lighted a fire, it being cold in consequence of the rain 
which fell on our arrival, and warmed some water to 
wash our feet, a matter which a kind and civil host in 
Abyssinia dare not overlook. 

April 12, 1842 — As we wanted to pass the day in 
Woldaia, we were in no great hurry to leave the village 


of Shelte, Woldaia being not very distant. On our road 
we met a great many people, who were going to the 
mai'ket which is held this day at Woldaia. They came 
from all quarters. We saw many hundreds of donkeys 
and mules loaded with salt-pieces, barley, cloths, &c. 
A dollar is exchanged at AYoldaia for thirty-six or forty 
pieces of salt, consequently double as much as in Shoa. 
I observed that the Yechoo language varies in many 
things fi-om the Shoan Amharic, which differs in many 
thin2;s from the dialect of Gondar, which is considered 
the purest Amharic. As to the rest, I could understand 
the people of Yechoo as well as the Shoans. I was 
sorry that I did not see Dejasmadj Faris, who was 
on an expedition ^ith his brother Berroo Ahgas against 
Imam Liban, the head ofWoiTaHimano. Eerroo Ahgas 
and Faris was the reason of my return to Adara Billc, 
and now I was obliged to go through their country. 
Faris was described as a man of great kindness and 
hospitality, who if I had seen him would have given 
me a mule or money. At least I was told so by his 
subjects ; but I doubt this, as he would scarcely have 
given me any thing, because I could not give him a 
present. How strange are the ways of Providence ! 
When I did not want him, he and his brother were in 
my way ; and when I wanted him, he was not at home. 
Woldaia is a considerably large town, situated in a 
plain with shght hills. It may contain a few thousand 
inhabitants. Probably Faris has chosen the place, in 
order to be at hand against the inroads of the eastern 


Gallas, The houses differ but little in construction from 
those in Shoa. 

On account of the insecurity of the road, we had 
been advised by some people to join a caffila going to 
Lasta and Wag. As we did not know the day of its 
departure, we were told to apply to Atkoo the Negad 
Eas (head of the merchants) in Woldaia, and to ask 
him about this matter. Trusting that he would give 
us the best information, and would perhaps allow us to 
stay in his house a day or two, we went to him ; but 
we were immediately refused admittance into the house. 
He was sitting in the house-yard ; but probably thinking 
that we did not know him, he said, " The Negad Ras 
is on the market : he is not here," though the neigh- 
bours had told us that he was at home. Upon endea- 
vouring again to enter the gates, he cried out and said, 
" I have told you once that the Negad Ras is not here." 
At the same time he ordered his servants and many 
ferocious dogs to drive us out of his sight. We went 
away very sadly indeed, and grieved at the man's un- 
couthness. We resolved, however, to prosecute our 
way without caring any more about the departm*e of 
the caffila or the insecurity of the road. I must con- 
fess that the rude beha\aour of this man made my heart 
weep ; but at the same time it led me to cast myself 
upon Him who is a merciful Father to all those whom 
the world turns out, and who was my only friend and 
protector in an unknown country, where I had neither 
friends nor funds. 


Thus the plan which we had schemed yesterday for 
collecting a store of provisions at Woldaia was entirely 
frustrated ; but we entertained the hope that we should 
find what we wanted at other places^ and at a time when 
we should absolutely require it. 

Upon leaving AVoldaia in a north-easterly direction, 
we had to descend a great deal fi'om the plain of this 
town. We had no guide with us; but we proceeded on 
our way, continually inquiring after provinces and places 
which I knew from the maps of Abyssinia. A narrow 
path from Woldaia led us down into a small valley, 
through which a river runs, called in Amharic, the 
Black River. It had much water from the rain of last 
night. It runs to the country of Adel. 

About nine o'clock we halted in a village called 
Gooddo, where my people wanted to go and beg, as 
the village had the appearance of a wealthy population. 
But this was only an optic delusion when we tried to 
obtain something from the apparently rich people. 
With gi-eat difficulty, and after long supplications, my 
people brought back a small quantity of hog's beans 
from their begging excursion. A Mahomcdan woman 
allowed us to boil the beans on the fire in her house. 
She also allowed us to make a little black cofi"ee, 
which had been given us the day before yesterday 
by our host at ]\Iersa. AVe could never prevail on 
Christians to allow us to make coffee in their houses, 
as they instantly took us for iVIahomedans and sent us 
out of their houses ; nor would they by any means give 


US a vessel for making the coffee^ because it would make 
the vessel unclean. 

After we had left Woldaia, we seldom met Mahome- 
dans, who are not very numerous in the Christian 
country of Yechoo. They are still less in the country 
of Lasta and Wag. 

Starting from the village of Gooddo^ I made the ac- 
quaintance of a man from the village of Shal, near the 
district of Angot. He came from the market of 
Woldaia, and was on horseback. He inquired after 
the country from which we came, and where we were 
going. On learning that we came from Shoa, he said, 
" The Shoans are the best Christians of Abyssinia, and 
their king is the best ruler.^' This remark was made 
by many people of Lasta, Wag, and Tigre. Both the 
king and the people are in favourable reputation with 
the rest of Abyssinia. The king^s generosity is known 
every where ; therefore they flock fi-om all quarters to 
Shoa, principally monks and priests. 

Our road led us over a very fine country, extremely 
adapted for cultivation, the soil being that of our 
European gardens. In the west we had always the 
sight of high mountains, ranged from south to north 
and north-east. About twelve o'clock we crossed the 
river Ala, which rises in these mountains, and runs 
toward the country of Adel. It carries a considerable 
quantity of water in its narrow bed, and during the 
great rainy season must be impassable. Being late, 
and the clouded peaks of the mountains menacing the 


approach of rain, we thought it best to look out for 
shelter iu due time. We beheld the village of Shal, 
the name of which we had heard previously from the 
man whom we had met on the road. He had left us 
before we crossed the river Ala. We did not know 
his name, nor did he invite us to pass the night with 
him ; nor had we asked him for any favour of this kind. 
On entering the ullage, which consists of single houses 
scattered over a considerable distance, it happened that 
we directed our coui'se to the very house belonging to 
the man whose acquaintance we had made before. He 
himself had not yet arrived, having some business to 
settle elsewhere. His wife would not allow us to take 
our seats within the room before her Imsband had 
given us permission to enter. Thus we waited patiently 
in the court-yard, being still unacquainted with the 
proprietor of the house. x\t last he came, and proved 
to our astonishment to be the man whom we had met 
on the road. We of course depended upon a good 
reception and treatment, as this man appeared to be 
affected toward us on the road. But we were too rash 
and sanguine in our expectation ; for the man frowned 
upon us, and asked who had told us that this was his 
house, and scolded his wife for having allowed us to 
take shelter in the house-yard. He then made apolo- 
gies for being unable to treat a great man like myself, 
by slaughtering a sheep or bullock, and advised us to 
take our lodging in the church, which was very far off, 
and, as we learned aftenvard, without priests. I 


answered, that I did not wish to be treated as a great 
man ; but that I would be content with a httle food 
and a small spot where to sleep upon. Having several 
times represented to him that we were very tired from 
walking — that the rain w^as approaching — that all 
other houses were far off — that he himself had ex- 
pressed great affection on the road — and that the 
Christian Religion commanded hospitality toward 
Christians in particular — the man gave in, took us into 
his house, and treated us with a kindness which we 
did not expect after this long dispute. This occurrence 
confirmed me in the opinion which I had formed on 
some previous occasions, that a traveller in my situa- 
tion must not be afraid in many cases of assuming 
firmness and importunateness, as the continual begga- 
ries of the Abyssinians have rendered the heart of many 
givers almost inflexible. 

I cannot conclude the description of my experiences 
of this day, without mentioning the truly eminent 
questions which the wife of our host asked me when 
our conversation had tm-ned to religious matters. The 
woman having frequently heard me say that we should 
live according to the will of God, asked emphatically, 
" What is the will of God ? " I answered, '' We should 
love God with our whole heart, and our fellow-creatures 
as om-selves." She then asked; " How can we love God ? " 
I replied, " If we see how much God has loved us before 
in giving us His Son Jesus Christ as our Saviour and 
Mediator." " Who is Jesus Christ ? " she asked ; " and 


where is the Word of God ? " Allien I afterward spoke 
again of God^s love toward us^ she said^ " I have often 
thought that God does not love us, because we fre- 
quently offer beer and bread to St. JMichael and St. 
Abbo ; but notwithstanding, they do not prevent our 
houses from being biu-nt by our enemies." I said, 
" Just from what you now tell me, you may see God's 
love toward you by chastising you, in order that you 
may give up your idolatry of offering bread and beer 
to St. Michael, and offer yoin- heart to the living God, 
that he may govern your thoughts, words, and deeds." 
I shall never forget the interesting questions which 
this woman put to me in a manner which is seldom 
observed in other Abyssinian inquii-ers. May the 
word which I spoke to her become a seed in her heart 
for everlasting life ! 

April 13, 1842 — I got up very early this morning, as 
the tleas and other insects would not allow me to take 
rest for a moment during the whole night. The great 
number of cattle in the stable in which we were quartered, 
gave an attractive power to these little tyrants, who 
vexed us at night, after we had been pained by the 
people during the day. "\Vc left early the village of 
Shal, which is in the district Sanka, belonging to 
Yechoo. From Shal we had to ascend a long time. 
!Many rills intersected our road and refreshed us with 
their delicious water, coming from sources which we 
could observe, at a distance of a few hundred yards, 
gushing from the rifts of the rocks. 


The district of Sanka suffered much in war a few 
years ago, when Dejaj Faris was fighting against his 
rival Dejaj Bedool. Faris had been imprisoned by 
Ras AH in Debra Tabor ; but he found means to escape 
from prison and to retm-n to Yechoo, which had been 
given by the Has to Bedool during the captivity of 
Faris, This brave warrior had scarcely anived in his 
former territory, when most of his subjects joined his 
party. He gave Bedool a battle in Sanka and killed 
him ; but he burnt at the same time the villages 

About ten o'clock we finished our tiresome work of 
ascending to the higher country. We rested a little 
on a spot, where two highways request the traveller 
to decide which he will choose for his journey. The 
north-western highway leads to Lalibala and Gondar ; 
while the north-eastern road will bring you to Sokota 
and Antalo. Had I been furnished with proper means, 
I would have changed my mind and taken the route 
to Lalibala and Gondar, as I had more than one motive 
to see the latter town ; but my misery and afiliction 
compelled me to prosecute the north-eastern route 
toward Tigre, as this would lead me quicker to Mas- 
sowah, the end of my jom'ney. 

Having scarcely proceeded on our march again after 
the rest we had taken, on a sudden we heard the 
outcry of several men running in a huny after us. 
Bearing in mind the dreadful remembrance of Adara 
Bille's robbery, we thought of no other occurrence 


than that we should now be entu-ely deprived of the 
rest of our property^ which the generosity of our robber 
had left on our bodies. The men came on and requested 
us to retm'n to the place where we had rested, as there 
were judges who would decide on the crime which we 
had committed. On asking what we had done, we 
were told that we had persuaded four slaves at Shelte 
to run away from their master ; and that these slaves 
must either be with us, or that we must know where 
they had gone to. Perceiving that the matter had no 
reference to our being plundered, and observing the 
people running together from the fields to stop us, I 
complied with their demand and returned, in good 
confidence that I could prove my innocency in this 
accusation. On returning to the place where the 
judges were, the accusation was repeated by the people 
of Shelte, saying, that I was the brother of the Abuna, 
to whom the slaves belonged. The Abuna had a num- 
ber of Shangalla slaves with him when he was in the 
camp of Ubea in Begemeder; but when Ubea was im- 
prisoned by Berroo Aligas' troops, the Abuna's slaves 
were also imprisoned by the Yechoo soldiers, who 
performed the achievement of Ubea's capture. The 
soldier who imprisoned the slaves of the Alnma was 
a native of Shelte ; and, according to the Abyssinia 
right of war, he had taken them home. The slaves 
having disappeared just at the time when I was in 
Shelte, the people said, that nobody could have persuaded 
them but myself, being the brother of the Abuna. 

453 MR. krapf's reply. 

Against this impeachment I advanced, first, a a 
abridged narrative of the whole of my journey from 
Shoa, particularly of my accident with Adara Bille, 
a narrative which at once gained the heart of my 
judges; secondly, I explained, that slavery according 
the Word of God, is a crime against mankind, and 
therefore strongly forbidden in my country; thii'dly, 
that I had neither seen nor conversed with slaves in 
Shelte ; fourthly, that my host in Shal, with whom I 
had passed the previous night, could witness that I 
had nobody with me except my own servants, whom 
they had seen in Shal ; and lastly, that they had not 
found here an increased number of my party. Both 
judges and accusers seemed to feel the force of these 
arguments, and the quarrel ended by the judges de- 
claring us excommunicated if we had not spoken the 

Disagreeable and annoying as this occurrence was to 
us, yet it turned to our great advantage ; for had we 
not been detained, we should have traversed the district 
of Angot, and then we should not have found a village 
on the road before night, in a cold and dangerous 
wilderness. Thus frequ^ently many circumstances are 
insignificant and disagreeable, but in course of time are 
found to be veiy providential indeed. that my 
heart were more thankful to Him, whose gracious hand 
was to be seen so manifestly dm-ing the indescribable 
misery and distress of my journey ! 

We were now in Angot, which appears to be a large 


district. It begins with the point of the separation 
of highways mentioned above, and extends as far as 
Lasta, to which it is considered an additional part. It 
is at present dependent on the Governor of Yechoo, to 
whom Lasta is also subjected. This is evidently the 
province of Angot marked on the maps ; but it must 
have been formerly much larger than it is now. It 
must have extended more to the east, where there is at 
present a part of the Raia Gallas. I had frequently 
asked such people in Shoa as I thought would be able 
to tell me something about the province of Angot; 
but I was left in ignorance till I asked a native this 
afternoon about the name of the district which we were 
traversing. Tlie same was the case with the dis- 
tricts of Bugna and A^"olaka, which are mentioned by 
Mr. Ludolph and by INIr. Bruce. According to the 
latter (Vol. II. p. 441.) the daughter of the Jewish 
King Gideon was married to the Governor of Bugna in 
Lasta. Bugna is still to this day a district near 
Lalibala in Lasta. Wolaka is another district, through 
which I shall pass to-morrow. I am convinced that 
many names of the ancient geography of Abyssinia 
would be again discovered, if travellers would go over 
the whole of the country. In some distance in the 
east of Angot is the high mount Sobel, inhabited by a 
part of the Raia Gallas. The climate of Angot is very 
cold, as it is high land. On the eastern frontier of the 
mountains of Angot I saw a large plain, situated very 
low between Angot and the mountains of the Raia 


Gallas. The beauty of the prospect which I had of this 
plain, and the high mountains of the Raias beyond^, is 
truly indescribable. The plain must be very considera- 
ble in breadth, and a river runs through it from what I 
could see and learn from the natives. If this be true, 
and I believe it is, it must be the river Mille mentioned 
above. This, I suppose, takes up all the waters of the 
Yechoo mountains, and runs between Angot and the 
Raia mountains north-east-east, where it receives the 
waters of Angot, Lasta, and Wag, and perhaps also 
the waters of Wofila and a part of Tigre ; whereupon it 
attempts to reach the coast, but it is prevented by the 
sand and the rising country toward the coast. I in- 
quired much about this plain ; but people told me that 
they did not go over to the Raia Gallas, and therefore 
did not know whether there was a large river ; but that 
there was water running through the plain. This 
information compelled me to suspend my judgment of 
the subject, till other travellers shall throw more light 
on the matter. It frequently happens that travellers 
form their own idea of a subject, and turn their obser- 
vations or information according to these their precon- 
ceits, which is rather a loss than an advantage to geo- 

Having reached the village of Saragadel, we learned 
that there was no other village on the road for a dis- 
tance of about fifteen or eighteen miles. As it was late, 
the rain approaching, and we were tired, we resolved to 
pass the night in this village. We entered into a house ; 

^*5 'ai^O^ ■ 


but the inhabitants immediately set their dogs at us. I 
withdrew a little^ and sat down on a rising ground, 
where the rocks afforded me a little shelter from the 
cold rain which began to fall. My servants went 
through the village to seek for a night^s lodging. Pen- 
sive and grieved at the hardness of man toward his 
fellow-creature, I sighed after the assistance of Him 
who had not hitherto forsaken me on my pilgi'image. 
My servants went from house to house ; but all their 
endeavours were in vain, till at last a sick old man of- 
fered his cow stable if we would be content \\ith it, 
which of course we thankfully accepted. The old man 
introduced us to the stable and ordered his children to 
light a fii'e, as we were trembling with cold. He then 
had some bread prepared for us. There was nobody in^ 
the room except oui'selves and the cattle, which did us 
no harm, except that they attracted those disagreeable 
tjTants of which I have spoken before, and which 
would frequently have rendered our nights entirely 
restless, had not the fatigues of the day produced such 
an overwhelming sleep that we did not feel the tormen- 
tors. I sometimes checked them by leaving the room 
and staying outside in the cold for a few minutes. 

April 14', 1842 — We left Saragadel about seven 
o'clock, and moved toward the mountains of Lasta, still 
ascending till about nine o'clock. Our road led us to a 
complete wilderness, ^•ery different from those wc had 
passed a few days ago in the lower country of Yechoo. 
There wc had plenty of water, a warm climate, and 


could always find the road when we had debated. But 
this was not the case on the high land of Angot and 
Lasta. . ColdnesSj want of water, and difficulty in find- 
ing our true direction, was painfully felt by our whole 
party. There was not one large tree, and nothing but 
grass, called gooassa in Amharic. With this grass 
they cover the roofs of their houses. A country where 
there is this sort of grass frightens the Abyssinians, as 
the name reminds them of a country being cold. The 
country where you find the gooassa, requires a height 
of 8000 or 10,000 feet above the sea. 

The sky was clouded when we traversed the wilder- 
ness, a circumstance which rendered our situation still 
worse, as we could not distinguish and make out our 
direction from the peaks of the mountains. However 
we went on, being convinced that the road must lead us 
to some place or other. We saw no village, no culti- 
vated laud, no cattle, no beast, except some foxes ; no 
travellers, in fact nothing but desolation, and we our- 
selves seemed abandoned. Few places ever gave me such 
a melancholy impression as this wilderness, an impres- 
sion which I can scarcely forget. After a walk of three 
or four miles, on a sudden we observed at a distance 
through the mist covering the wilderness a number of 
people, who were sitting on the ground on the side of 
the way which we had blindly taken. Their appear- 
ance was not agreeable to us, as we took them for 
lurking robbers, of whom we had been warned yester- 
day at Saragadel. To our great joy, however, they 


proved to be merchants of AVoldaia coming from the 
market held at that place. They were just eating their 
breakfast, of which they kindly gave us a share after 
they had heard of our misery. They also pi*ovided us 
with some meal for our use on the road. One of their 
party also accompanied us for some distance, and showed 
us the road so plainly that we could not go astray. I 
took both the food and the guidance as coming from 
the gracious hands of Him who always helped when 
help was necessary. 

About one o^clock p. m., we reached a few houses on 
the road, where we halted and had our flour which the 
merchants had given us made into bread. A woman of 
one of the houses offered to bake it, on condition how- 
ever that we should ourselves fetch the wood and water 
necessary for the preparation. To this we agreed ; and 
our stock of flour procured us three cakes, being scarcely 
sufticient for myself and five servants. AVhile my peo- 
ple were busy in fetching the materials requisite for the 
preparation of the bread, I looked through the door of 
our little cottage to the sky covered with immense 
clouds. The passage of David came to my melancholy 
mind, where he says, I tvifl lift up mine eyes unto 
the hills, from lohence comelh my help. I thought 
that the meaning of the passage might refer to those 
immense mountains of clouds which were over his head 
when he was in a state of distress and melancholy, and 
to which my present situation had some resemblance. 

We left the hamlet about two o'clock p. m., continu- 


ally descending on our routCj whicli led us again througli 
a tract of country entirely abandoned by inhabitants. 
I must remark, that we began to descend after we bad 
left the merchants mentioned above. 

The wilderness through which we now travelled had 
a very different appearance from what I observed this 
morning. We now found more water ; we had fine 
scenery for our eyes ; juniper-trees, kolquall acacia 
were in abundance ; and sometimes we found it difficult 
to extricate ourselves from the abundance of thorns. 
But we saw no inhabitants ; we met no travellers ; nor 
did we see any wild beasts, but beautiful birds of the 
finest plumage. Fortunately we could find om* road 
easier than had been the case this morning, when the 
grass and mist prevented us from keeping up the di- 
rection pointed out by our host in Saragadel. 

The present population of Lasta seems to be almost 
nothing, having been destroyed by famine, war, and 
sickness, as I was told by the natives whom I asked 
about this subject. Ras Ali was blamed for having 
ravaged the country several years ago in the most bar- 
barous manner. There would be much room for the 
maintenance of a numerous population ; but it would 
require an active hand, till the thorny ground could 
be made arable. A single farmer might now possess 
himself of as much ground as he likes. I shall never 
forget the refreshing water which I di'ank out of the 
rivulets which run to the north-west in small but deep 
beds under the shadow of a thicket of wood, so that 


the sunbeams can never touch the \vatcr, and which 
is therefore agreeably cool. Their course is north-west 
to the river Tacazze ; a circumstance which shows that 
we had this morning passed the watershed as soon as 
we had passed the cold wilderness. The country of 
Lasta is high and hilly in the east and west; and 
therefore the running of the waters must force their 
way to the north-north-west. From the point where 
we travelled to-day we saw no more a rivulet running 
to the east till we reached the frontier of Tigre to 
Massowah. Having left the country of Angot, we 
crossed only such waters as belong to the water- 
stock of the river Tacazze. But I have no doubt that 
the high mountains in the east of Lasta, Wofila, and 
Enderta, pour out many rivulets toward the country of 
Adel, as is the case with the eastern mountains of 
Yechoo, "Worrakallo, and Shoa. The space of a journal 
does not allow me to dwell upon a subject which would 
give occasion for writing a volume about the system 
of waters and mountains of Eastern Abyssinia. 

About five o'clock in the evening we reached a vil- 
lage, called Deldei, which means in Amharic " bridge." 
In many respects there is some truth in this name, as 
this ^^llage really presents the passage you must take 
either in going to the counti^ of Wag in the north, 
or of Yechoo in the south. It leads you in both 
cases to uninhabited tracts of country. It is therefore 
the general assembling-place of merchants going from 
Sokota and Wofila to AVoldai, or vice versa. In Deldei, 
X 2 


the market people join togetlier, in order to frighten 
the robbers of the road -mih an imposing party. The 
robbers especially lurk on such days when the mer- 
chants return from Woldaia or Sokota. We met a 
company of merchants ; but our plan was now positively 
against joining their party, who wished us to take the 
road to Sokota, the capital of the Wag country, which 
we endeavoured by all means to avoid, having heard of 
the rapacious character of the Governor of Wag. 

We entered the first house which we saw in Deldei 
on the way side. The dogs made a tremendous howl- 
ing, and the house-wife, as usual, forbid us staying in 
her room till she had obtained the consent of her hus- 
band, who was absent. Knowing that this was the cus- 
tom of the country, we waited in the court-yard, while 
some of my servants went to beg in the mean time. 
On their return, they brought a few handfuls of hog's 
beans. When the husband arrived, and heard of stran- 
gers asking for a night's lodging, he first objected to 
our passing the night in his house, saying, that there 
had been a sick man, with whose disease we might be 
infected if we entered his house. I said that I was not 
afraid of this, and that it would not at all signify; 
whereupon he bid us walk in and have some supper. 
Presently I heard a lamentation in the house of our 
neighbour ; and on asking what was the matter, I was 
told that a man had run away from his wife and chil- 
dren and had made himself a Monk, and was gone to 
Debra Libanos in Shoa. The wife had just received 


intelligence from a merchant, who had seen the man on 
his way to Shoa. Hence her lamentations^ as she could 
not provide for her children. It frequently happens in 
Abyssinia, that a man divorces his wife without telling 
her that he is going to make himself a monk, on ac- 
count of his soul, as they say. Such a man is called 
jMenani ; i. e, despiser of the world. To save their 
souls, as they say, they do not hesitate to break the 
order of conjugal life whenever they please, and most 
of their countrymen praise their rigidity, or spiritual 
bravery. But the fact is, that they are either in indi- 
gent circumstances, or discontent with their waves, and 
this induces them to run into a convent ; but as they 
go in their opinion to a holy place, they think it unne- 
cessary to inform their wives of what they are going 
to do. 





April 15^ 1842 — Early this morning we departed from 
Deldei, taking an easterly direction toward Wofila and 


the lake Ashanghe. We did not like to go to Sokota, 
having heard of the bad character of the Governor of 
the Agaus. Last year he robbed a French Gentleman, 
who intended to go to Shoa. This gentleman had a 
fine sword, which the Governor wanted to buy ; but as 
he would not bargain vnth the Governor, he was angry, 
and sent his servant on the road to rob and kill him on 
his way from Sokota. They wounded him with a 
lance ; whereupon he fell to the ground ; and the rob- 
bers taking him for dead, took his luggage and clothes, 
and returned to their master. This fact is true, and 
was afterward related to me by the servants of the 
Governor of Wag. About six o^ clock we halted on the 
banks of the river Terari, where we finished the re- 
mainder of the bread which our host had given us 
yesterday evening. 

On our road to Wofila was the Convent of Shamado 
.Mariam, which is in great reputation with the Abyssin- 
ians. We did not visit the Convent. The })riucipal 
convents distinguished for sanctity are in Axum Tzion, 
Lalibala, and Debra Libanos. Our road led us 
through countries quite destitute of inhabitants, al- 
though the good soil would admit a considerable degree 
of cultivation. The ground was overgrown with grass 
and thorns, and intersected with rills and brooks. 
The road was hilly, but not rocky. We could see in 
the north-north-west of Lasta the high mountains of 
Semien, the peaks of which presented to us the appear- 
ance of large towers. The hilly country of Lasta ami 


Wag, as far as we could see, had exactly the appear- 
ance of a raging and stormy sea, presenting numerous 
hills of waves, with a large space between each wave. 

We observed only a few hamlets on our road ; namely, 
Ahio, Tartara, and Atemie Galla. In Tartara we were 
frightened by a man who was ploughing close to the 
way-side. He said, that the road to Wofila was infested 
by robbers, and that we should do better to stay with 
him, and to join a caffila going in a few days to Wofila. 
He repeatedly asked what goods we carried with us, as 
lie wished to buy something from us. When we told 
him that we had no goods at all, as we had been rob- 
bed in the Wollo country, he said, '^ I know you have 
gold with you.^' As I was exceedingly weary, I felt 
inclined to accept his invitation ; but my servants re- 
sisted, saying, that they distrusted the man, who, 
under the pretence of hospitality, might prove at last 
a second Adara Bille, and I think that they were right 
in advising me to prosecute our road. A traveller 
nuist certainly take care in these regions of wickedness. 
There are very few hamlets on the road. The ground 
is full of grass, thorns, and bushes ; but this is exactly 
the country which suits the purpose of the gangs of 
robbers. We left the man, and said, that we did not 
care to go with a caffila. He laughed, and said, " Well, 
you may go ; the road is safe ; but do not go too much 
to the east, else you will fall into the hands of the 
Raia Gallas;'' an advice in which he was quite correct. 

We travelled to-day almost in an easterly direction j 


but on arriving at Atemie Galla, we deviated from our 
road to north-east-east, having learned that our eastern 
direction would lead us to the country of the Raia 
Gallas, who would certainly kiU us if we fell into their 
hands. Having no reason to doubt the correctness of 
this statement, which was given to us by an old man 
of the hamlet Atemie Galla, we turned off immediately 
to north-east-east toward the village Enalka, which we 
could see from a distance, and where we intended to 
pass the night. ^Marching over a thorny field, we saw 
two men running after us with large sticks. Allien 
they came up to us, they were silent for some time as 
to their object in coming after us. Upon asking them 
what they wanted, they said, that they wanted medi- 
cine. Their behaviour, however, clearly showed that 
this was not their real intention of coming to us. Un- 
questionably they contrived this falsehood to make us 
believe that they did not intend to plunder us, when 
they saw that they could not manage us, our party 
being too strong for them. 

We reached the village of Enalka about four o'clock. 
As the people of the first house into which we entered 
would not receive us, we sat down under a tree, wait- 
ing according to the custom of the country, for the 
invitation of any of the villagers. Having waited in 
vain for a considerable time, we were visited by a priest, 
who asked us the reason of our sitting so long under 
the tree. We told him that we wanted to pass the night 
in the village, but that at present nobody had invited 

X 5 


US. He walked off, but instantly returned, bringing 
with him a loaf of bread, and a small jar of beer, which 
he presented to us. He then said, " I have no house of 
my own, as I am a stranger, having come from Antalo 
in Tigre ; but I will speak to the Shum (Governor) of 
this village, who will probably quarter and feed you 
well for this night." He then sat down, and wished 
to have a conversation with me. He commenced by 
saying, " I am a great sinner ; but I think that the 
acquaintance of a man from Jerusalem will do me a 
great deal of good." I said, " I am, as well as you, a 
great sinner, though coming from Jerusalem ; and even 
though yourself had been in Jerusalem it would do you 
no good. I will show you the way to get rid of all 
your sins, and how you may find a share in the Jeru- 
salem of heaven, which is far superior to that on earth." 
This subject turned our conversation to sin, and the 
way in which we may obtain forgiveness of our sins 
through faith in Jesus Christ, who will not only forgive 
us our sins, if we sincerely repent and believe in Him, 
but who will give us also the spirit of grace to preserve 
us from committing sins. The priest then went home ; 
but immediately came back again, bringing with him 
an ^thiopic Psalter, to which was annexed a little 
book called Woodassie ]\Iariam (Praise of the Holy 
Virgin). I strongly disapproved of their practice of 
confounding and connecting the erroneous word of 
men with the pure Word of God, to which our conver- 
sation was now turned. 


The priest having heard that the Governor of Enalka 
had arrived, went to him and interceded with him for 
a night^s lodging for us. The Governor came out to 
the tree, took oiF his clothes to the loins, in sign of 
respect, made a bow, and said, " Would you not do 
better to come to my house and stay with me ? I will 
give you all that I have." Of course we accepted the 
invitation A^ith the greatest pleasm'e and thankfulness. 
This transaction reminded me of the hospitable beha- 
Wour of Abraham. The Governor himself spread out 
a skin and bid me sit down. He then ordered a fire 
to be hghted ; but as it was not cold, I requested him 
not to do so. Some beer and bread was then brought 
to us till the supper was ready. He frequently said 
to me, " You are a great man ; you are a priest ; you 
come from Jerusalem : I must take care of you." But 
I soon perceived the cause of his civility toward us. 
He wanted talismans against sickness and evil spirits. 
His Lady was very sick, and he probably thought 
that a man of Jerusalem would be able to cure her in 
a magical manner. As soon as I spoke against the 
uselessness and sinfulness of talismanic writings, the 
Governor's civility considerably abated. Had I conde- 
scended to the superstitious and perverse ])ractices of 
the people, as probably many travellers in my situation 
would have done, I should in many cases have met 
with a better reception, and have avoided many priva- 
tions and hardshi])s to myself; but how would this 
agree with my duty and character of a Missionary ? 


The village of Enalka belongs to the district of 
AYofila, being dependent on the Governor of Wag. I 
have forgotten to remark in my notes of yesterday, 
that the village of Deldei is the frontier of the govern- 
ment of Dejasmadj Faris. All the country in the north 
of that village is governed by the Governor of Wag, 
which is the country of the Agaus. Lasta was formerly 
in the hands of the Governor of Wag ; but Faris con- 
quered it, and has been confirmed in his government 
by Ras Ali. Lasta is bordered in the south by Angot, 
Yechoo, and Wadela ; in the west by Begemeder ; in 
the north by Wag ; and in the cast by Angot and the 
Eaia tribes. The country of Wag is dependent on 
Ras Ali; but this dependency appears to be very loose. 
The capital of the Governor of Wag is Sokota. Wofila 
is dependent on him, as already mentioned. The 
principal places in the south-east of Wofila, are Zelga, 
Bora, and the lake Ashanghe. The language spoken 
in Wofila is that of Tigre, by which it is bordered in 
the north-east ; while the language of Wag is totally 
different from any language in Abyssinia, so that I 
could not understand a word of it. It has neither 
affinity to the iEthiopic and Amharic, nor to the Galla 
language. It is totally a different tongue. I have 
been informed that the other tribes of Wag, which 
reside toward the sources of the Nile, have a language 
which is not understood by those Agaus whose country 
I have traversed. They told me, that the whole Wag 
country is divided into seven houses or tribes; but 


they could uot tell me their names^ nor could they 
inform me of their fonner histories. I have collected a 
number of words of the Agau language ; but unfortu- 
nately they were effaced by the rain, as they were 
WTitten on reeds, in consequence of the scantiness of 
paper which was left me by the robber Adara Bille, 

The Agaus differ as much from that of the rest of 
Abyssinia in their features, manners, and customs, as 
in their language. In one great thing, however, they 
agree with the other Abyssinians ; namely, the Chris- 
tian religion, and which has certainly tempered a little 
the character of savageness, spirit of independency, 
bravery in warfare, irascibleness, revengefulness, and 
rapacity, which is ascribed to them by the other 
Abyssinians, and which, I think, is pretty correct. 

Jj)rii 16, 1842.— We left Enalka at smirise. The 
priest whom I mentioned yesterday accompanied us for 
some distance, and showed us the road to Lat. In con- 
sequence of his advice we gave up the plan of taking 
the shortest road to the lake Ashanghc, and thought it 
better first to proceed to Lat, and there to make 
further inquiries respecting the security of our way. 
^Ve ascended till about ten o'clock. On the whole of 
our road, we saw only one hamlet, called Dafat. 
Having aiTived on the mountain, which we had been 
ascending since we left Enalka, we had a pretty view 
of the mountains of the Raia Gallas in the east. They 
pointed out the position of the lake Ashanghc ; but it 
being surrounded by mountains, I could uot see the 


water. From what I heard, however, I must conclude 
that it is not so large as lake Haik ; at all events there 
is no island in it. I was told that there are many 
villages around the lake, where there is a weekly 
market held. If I am not mistaken, I heard that the 
largest village, where the market is held, is called 
Wofila, close to Ashanghe. This is at the same time 
the name of the whole district or province. On the 
eastern shores of the lake are Gallas, and therefore 
great care must be taken which road you go in these 
hostile regions. I afterward very much regretted that 
I allowed the people on the road to discourage me with 
their statements of the insecurity of the access to the lake 
from having seen this interesting part of the country, 
as I was not more than eight or ten miles from the 
lake. But the desire of getting rid of his miseries 
and hardships frequently prevails on a traveller to let 
many opportunities escape, which, if he availed him- 
self of them, would afterward aiFord him the greatest 
pleasure from the favourable success which might have 
crowned his scientific endeavours. I was told by a 
native, that there is another small lake at some dis- 
tance from the large one; but I have forgotten its 

About twelve o'clock we arrived in the village of Lat, 
which is of considerable extent. I do not recollect 
having seen such a large village since I left the country 
of Yechoo. Probably the name of Woiilat is to be 
derived from the Amharic Wof-Lat, which means a fat 


bird. But I do not know to what this origin of the 
name refers. 

We only intended to rest a little fi'om the fatigues of 
our roadj to inquii'e after our route to the lake Ashanghe, 
and then to go further; but the Alaca of the Church of 
St. George, who pretended to have seen me at Ankobar, 
begged me to stop. He delighted us with a cake of 
bread and a quantity of hog's beans. I learned from 
him that the Governor Wolda Medhen had encamped at 
Wofilat close to the lake Ashanghe, in order to collect 
the annual tribute of the people, consisting of sheep, 
cows, barley, hog's beans, &c. From the description 
which the Alaca gave me of the soldiers of Wolda 
^ledhen, I was not induced to go to the lake under 
present circumstances, although our route to Antalo 
would have been thereby shortened. A compass would 
have been useless, as the very route which we had now 
taken to avoid going to Ashanghe, afterward took us to 
the Governor of whose soldiers we were apprehensive. 

Having stopped a considerable time with the Alaca, 
we expressed oui- desire to depart. We had, however, 
scarcely marched a few hundi-ed yards from the village 
when we saw a man running after us, who proved to 
be the judge of the village. He said, " I beg you to 
rest with me this night ; 1 will give you whatever you 
want." Seeing his civility, I could not refuse going 
with him to his house, where he offered bread and 
honey-water. He then asked me whether I was ac- 
quainted with magic and talismanic writings. 1 first 


asked him for what purpose he enquired. He replied, 
that his wife had been sick for several years, and had 
used many charms written by their counti-ymen, but 
that they had all proved useless; and that having heard 
that a man coming from Jerusalem had passed by, he 
had endeavoured to see him, to ask him for a talisman 
promising a better effect. I said, " If I had known 
that this was the reason of your calling me back from 
the road, I should not have accepted of your hospita- 
lity, as I cannot accomplish a request which the Word 
of God considers foolish, useless, and sinful." On 
hearing that I spoke against magical charms, he was 
instantly so much reduced in his civility, that he left 
the room, and never returned to look after us. He said 
to others, "What has been the use of my bringing 
this man here ? He cannot charm ; yea, he is opposed 
to it." The Alaca also began to be discouraged, and 
the whole party altered their sentiments so much, that 
they declared I was a Mahomedan, and should be or- 
dered to leave the house. In the evening, when I 
asked for a place to sleep upon in the room, I was told 
to go to bed without the doors of the house. I said, 
that their treatment was extremely improper, particu- 
larly as they had invited and called me back from the 
road. However, I slept in the open and cold air ; and 
as I did not know till now that this treatment arose 
from my having refused talismanic writings, I kept 
silence about the rude behaviour of this people. 

j4prll 17, 181<2 — Before day break our host came out 


of his house, and said, "Make haste and get up and leave 
this place." At the first moment I did not understand 
him, as I had no idea that the whole party would carry 
their anger so far as to persecute me. I thought that 
the troops of the Governor, of whom every body was 
afraid in the village, had arrived, and that our host had 
advised us to take flight. But I soon learned from one 
of my servants, who had been disputing with the host, 
on account of his behaviour of yesterday, that they 
considered me a Mahomedan in secret, because I had 
spoken against magic, and because 1 had declared that 
a man cannot be saved by means of fasting. I learned 
also, that they had held a council yesterday for the 
pvu-pose of catching and imprisoning me, because I had 
pretended to be a Christian, although I was a Maho- 
medan. The xVlaca declared that I was not Krapf 
whom he had seen at Aukobar ; that I was an impostor 
assuming his name ; and that Krapf would carry with 
him Amharic and ^thiopic books. On learning that 
this was the real state of things, I regretted that wc 
had departed so quickly and in such confusion. It was 
still dark, and we were unable to find om- road. We 
travelled for some time in the bed of a river which 
flows to the Tacazze, from which wc were distant only 
a few days' journey, ^ye were obliged to halt in the 
river till after day break, in order to be sure of our 
direction to Antalo in Enderta. After daylight we saw 
a village at some distance, and people coming up to us. 
But they could not tell us any thing about the route 


to iVntalOj which was still far off. We then asked 
whether this was the route to Bella Georgis, to which 
they answered in the affirmative. On asking about the 
residence of the Governor, we learned that he had not 
yet moved from the villages of Ashanghe. 

About ten o'clock we crossed another river, the name 
of which I could not ascertain. Its course was north- 
north-west, and it carried down a considerable quantity 
of water. Before we reached this river, we could 
scarcely find our way through the thorns and bushes, 
which caused us many difficulties in advancing toward 
the river. Our clothes, which we were obliged to pre- 
serve as well and as long as possible, as we had no 
others, were considerably damaged in this thorny 

About eleven o'clock we reached another river. We 
halted a little, and collected a quantity of ripe fruit of 
the wanza-tree, which appeased our appetites a little. 
From thence we passed by a village situated on the foot 
of a high mountain, which we had now to ascend. The 
countiy of Wofila appears to be better inhabited and 
cultivated than that of Angot and Lasta. Since we 
had left Lat, we observed many villages and tracts of 
land well cultivated ; but the reason is, that the des- 
truction of lias All's war had not extended so far. 

We reached the top of the mountain after mid-day. 
Our passage was sometimes extremely difficult and nar- 
row. The banks of the mountain had sometimes the 
appearance of high walls of rocks, a slip from whence 


would cause certain death. Toward the end of our 
ascent we observed several houses close to the way-side. 
We understood that they belonged to a Governor who 
is charged with watching the road. Nobody troubled 
us, as we had nothing that attracted their attention ; 
but should a traveller pass by with much luggage, he 
would certainly be detained by this Governor. 

Having reached the top of the mountain, we learned 
that the Governor Wolda Medhen with his troops had 
moved this morning from Zelga, and that he was ex- 
pected in Bella Georgis this afternoon. This was bad 
news to us : however we hoped that we should be able 
to pass by before his arrival. We marched as quickly 
as possible, although we were so tired, that we could 
scarcely move om* legs, having commenced our march 
before daybreak. We had two roads before us ; one 
leading east, and the other north-east. The position of 
Zelga, where the Governor was said to be, appeared to 
me precisely east. I therefore proposed to take the 
route of north-east, thinking that the distance from 
Zelga might be so considerable that we should not meet 
the Governor. But in this I was perfectly mistaken. 

We went on as quickly as we could ; but unfortunately 
we met no one who could give us better information of 
the Governor's movements. We at last saw a large 
village, to which we directed om* steps ; but on a sudden 
we were stopt by the deep and wall-like banks of a 
torrent. We had then to turn eastward ; but having 
travelled about three miles more, we reached the banks 


of another steep hill, from which we could see down 
into a little valley, where a part of the Governor's 
troops were encamped. Escape was now impossible, as 
they had seen us on the top of the hill. Every attempt 
to escape would only have raised more suspicion, and 
would perhaps have produced the worst consequences. I 
said to my servants, " As we cannot escape, it is better 
for us to go directly to the Governor and acquaint him 
with oui" situation : perhaps his heart will be affected, 
and God will prevent him from doing us mischief." 
So we accordingly went. On descending the valley to 
inquire after the Governor's tent, we observed some 
people coming toward us. We thought that they were 
soldiers coming to plunder us before we could reach 
the camp ; but one of them was a priest, who had a 
green field near the way-side, and thinking we were 
soldiers, he came to excommunicate whoever should 
walk over his field. We told the priest who we were, 
and that we wanted to see the Governor, and begged 
him for a man to accompany us to the Governor's tent. 
To this he consented. On leaving he requested me to 
say the Lord's Prayer with him. I did not refuse, and 
I can say that I prayed from all my heart. It was 
really a consolation in my critical situation. 

In moving toward the place where the Governor was 
said to be sitting under a tree, I was frequently re- 
quested by soldiers of the Wag country to give them 
a blessing. They either kneel or lie on the ground, 
till the blessing is pronounced ; and have a strong be- 


lief that this blessing, particularly when it is given by 
a man of Jerusalem, will be of use to them. It ap- 
peared to me that they thus seek more for temporal 
than spii'itual and eternal good. Many thought that 
my blessing would secure them against every ball from 
the muskets of the enemy ; and others thought that 
they would be enabled to pay their debts, &c. I there- 
fore always endeavoured to give my blessing in such a 
manner as to excite a desire in their minds for their 
real spiritual welfare. 

The Governor's tent was not yet pitched. I therefore 
met him in the open an*. Fortunately, I had met his 
father confessor, who had the kindness to introduce me 
to him. I saluted the Governor in Amharic, which he 
and most of the bystanders understood, the Amharic 
being the language of the Court of Has Ali. On his 
asking me from whence I came, I gave him a short 
naiTative of my journey from Shoa, to which he listened 
with gi-eat attention, ^lien his favourite people heard 
of the baggage which I had been deprived of in the 
Wollo country, they said, " AVhat a pity it is that he 
did not bring his goods to us ;" i.e. we would have 
been glad of robbing him. I said, that the reason 
which had induced me to see him, was, because I wished 
him to protect me in going through his country, and 
to provide me with provisions, as I was in bad circum- 
stances in this respect. He then ordered me to sit 
down in the shade of another tree till his tent was 
pitched, when he called me again, and held a long con- 


versation. He asked what I had with me. I rephed, 
that I had nothing but a Uttle book^ which I took out 
of my pocket and showed to him. He asked, what 
book it was ; to which I rephed, that it was a copy of 
the New Testament in the language of my country. 
He then asked, whether its contents agreed with the 
New Testament of his country. I said, " Certainly it 
does,'^ and translated 1 John i., when he exclaimed with 
great joy, " I see ! I see ! I see ! it is the same." I 
then gave a short explanation of the contents, which 
particularly attracted the attention of the priest, who 
appeared to me to be a man of much understanding. 
They then asked about Jerusalem, whether it was true 
that children did not die there. I said, that they die 
there as in all other countries when the houi* of death 
is come by the appointment of God. It must be re- 
marked that pilgrims coming from Jerusalem tell their 
Abyssinian countrymen many falsehoods. For instance, 
they make them believe that children do not die in Je- 
rusalem — that at the Abuna^s ordination a dove waves 
over his head, in sign of the reception of the Holy 
Ghost — that the water of the Jordan is as white as 
lime — that the house of the Patriarch at Cairo, is com- 
posed of gold — and that at Easter a light falls from 
heaven over the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. The 
Abyssinians will frequently ask you about these things; 
but it will always have a bad effect if you tell them 
you have not been in Jerusalem, as they will not lay 
any stress on your arguments, and I truly regret that 


I have never seen Jerusalem. Many think you are no 
Christian if you tell them that you have not been in 

Ha\'ing finished the conversation, the Governor 
ordered me to take my resting-place any where in the 
open air, till he would give me leave to depart to-mor- 
row. I walked off with feehngs of the greatest joy and 
thanksgiving to my heavenly Guide, after having been 
for some time in great apprehension from the Governor 
and his troops. 

April 18j 1842 — With the greatest anxiety I waited 
for daybreak, being anxious to learn the result of my 
application to the Governor. The impression which his 
beha^^om• had given me yesterday was favourable, and 
I could not think that any thing of a disastrous nature 
would happen. Last evening he sent a piece of bread 
for each of our party. His people however showed 
some rudeness of behaviour, which did not signify so 
long as I had the good will of their master in my 
favoui'. Here it was that I heard a true account of the 
robbery committed against the French gentleman before 
mentioned. I must confess that this communication 
caused very painful feelings in my mind, ])articularly 
when the reporter, a servant of the then Governor of 
Sokota, told me, that he was one of the robbing party ; 
that they had intended to kill the gentleman, but that he 
afterward made his escape ; and that therefore it would 
not signify if I should be murdered in his stead. I could 
rest but httle during the night, and I got up several 


times, and recommended my life and that of my ser- 
vants to the protecting power of my heavenly Father, 
who made me experience this morning that my poor 
and humble prayer had not been in vain. 

After sunrise I repaired to the Governor's tent to 
take leave of him. Having waited a long time amidst 
a crowd of gazing and annoying soldiers who watched 
the access to the tent, I was at last introduced by the 
father-confessor, whose kindness I had already experi- 
enced. The Governor appeared to be in good humour, 
and without any bad intention against me or my ser- 
vants. He commenced the conversation by saying, that 
he would have asked me for a pair of spectacles, if I 
had been able to comply with his request. I replied, 
that it would have afforded me great pleasure, if I had 
been able to return his kindness with any thing pleas- 
ing to him ; but that my circumstances would not 
allow me to do so. He then gave orders to his favou- 
rite servant to provide me for his souFs sake, as he said, 
with two madegas* of barley, to be given me in a village 
on the road. I thanked him, and then bid him farewell, 
having first, at his request, given him a blessing. 

Thus the man who recalled to our minds the remem- 
brance of Adara Bille, proved to be a lamb compared 
with that robber. AYe had endeavoured yesterday to 
avoid this dangerous place ; but to-day we were glad 
that we did not succeed. 

* Madega is a measure used in Tigre, equal to sixteen Kunna in Shoa, 
which contains about fifty pounds in weight. 


The servant who was ordered to collect the barley, 
strictly executed his master's command ; but we had to 
wait several hours in the ^-illage. We had now such a 
quantity of provisions, that my people had to carry the 
loads by tm-us ; but they were ready to bear every 
hardship. We joj-fully prosecuted our journey, daily 
receiving fresh proofs of the faithfid care of our hea- 
venly Father. 

^\Tien we had crossed the river Ghebia, we were over- 
taken by violent rain. The wind and rain rendered 
the air rather cold, and the hard work of ascending 
and descending the moimtains and hills on foot pro- 
duced a continual perspiration. Fortunately we reached 
in due time the village of Karanghe, where a man 
kindly received us into his house, lighted a fire, and 
made us a little comfortable. Falling upon my knees, 
I offered the sacrifice of humble thanksgiving to Him 
who had graciously brought me a further step on my 
tiresome pilgi'image. Thus it is with the life of a 
Christian, who is now in sorrow, and then in joy ; who 
weeps in the evening, and rejoices in the morning, till 
his earthly journey is over, and he enjoys eternal and 
immutable happiness in heaven. 

April 19, 1842 — We left Karanghe before sunrise 
in a north-east-east direction. As this day was the 
anniversary of St. Michael the archangel, our host was 
gone to church before we could take leave of him. 
Although we had yesterday ascended considerably, yet 
we had to ascend this morning still more through a 



country full of thorns and gi*ass. We saw however no 
village, nor did we meet any inhabitants. I was struck 
at the great number of partridges, which I have no- 
where seen in such an abundance as on this mountain. 
One charge would have provided us with food for 
several days ; but our weapons were in the hands of 
Adara Bille. The country around was extremely hilly, 
and reminded me of Geshe in northern Shoa. Tor- 
rents run between the high and steep mountains, which 
were full of thorns and trees of various kinds of wood. 
Having reached the top of the mountain, we had a 
pretty view of the provinces of Wag and Semien. The 
mountains of Semien appeared to be elevated to the 
sky, till the clouds withdi-ew their tops from om' con- 
templation. One of the highest mountains of Wag is 
Biala, on the eastern foot of which Sokota, the capital 
of Wag, was said to be. Here resides the present 
Governor, Taferri, who sends from hence his officers 
at certain times over the whole country to collect tri- 

About ten o'clock we entered the district of Bora, the 
name of which is derived from the white stripes which 
mark all the hills around. Each stratum of rocks pre- 
sents a white and somewhat grey appearance to the eye. 
There are several large caves, which might give shelter 
to several hundred men. 

In the first village of Bora we met the Governor, 
Woldaa JMichael. He was sitting under a tree by the 
wayside, holding a consultation with his people. 


Observing the people from a distance^ I conjec- 
tured that there was a Governor among them, and 
having been treated well yesterday by the Governor 
Wolda Teclo, I thi*ew away all the apprehensions 
which I had entertained in Lasta. On approaching 
the place where the consultation was held, I endea- 
voui'ed to avoid the people by going my way with- 
out asking who they were, or what they w^ere doing. 
But the Governor sent his servant, who requested 
me to wait on his master, whose robber-hke appear- 
ance instantly deprived me of confidence. He asked 
from whence I came, and what was my business. I 
told him that I had been in Shoa to teach the Word 
of God, as I was a Christian priest coming from a 
country called England, situated beyond Jerusalem. 
At first he would not believe that I had been in Shoa, 
as he had not heard that I went there by way of Wag, 
and it appeared he did not hke to hear that there was 
another road by way of Adel. When I related to him 
what misfortunes had befallen me in Adara Bille's, 
he laughed with his servants, saying, " We should have 
been delighted at seeing you with your property : 
we should have liked you much indeed, and would 
have bought every thing from you.^' He then wanted 
to try my spectacles, my boots ; in fact every thing he 
saw. Fortunately, however, nothing suited him. He 
then asked, whether 1 knew the new Abuna, and whe- 
ther I had been in Jerusalem and seen all the wonder- 
ful things,